The Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Rattan Lal Kataria has said that in order to simplify the process of vaccination for the elderly and differently-abled, , the government has allowed the establishment of ‘near home’ vaccination centres for them. He was addressing¬†a programme on the occasion of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The Minister further highlighted various steps taken by the central government to assist the senior citizens during the pandemic. The Central Government has taken the initiative to provide protection to its elderly population by immunizing them at the earliest and making them the primary category. As a result of this visionary policy, the majority of our elderly population have received the first dose and have been able to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Kataria further highlighted the success stories of recently launched State-wise Call Centres (Toll Free Number-14567) in major States under the Elderline Project. The helpline is doing a tremendous job during the ongoing COVID pandemic.

For example, in Kasganj district, an old age home facility was provided to 70 years old hungry, homeless, elderly woman through the Helpline. ‘Elderline’ helped a 70-year-old ex-fighter, who was stranded at Chandausi bus stand for the last one and a half months, to reach his home. ‘Elderline’ is providing assistance to thousands of elderly persons, the Minister disclosed.

He said that the COVID-19 global pandemic has portrayed the absolute reality of the lonely elderly today. They have to rely on the people living around them, the service sentiment of the local community or the retail service providers who supply them with essential commodities. In its absence, they will be compelled to go out to purchase their essentials, which can increase their risk of getting infected.

In the end, he requested all to get every member of the family, especially the elderly, vaccinated at the earliest and urged everyone to come forward to provide help to elderly relatives and neighbours in need.