HYDERABAD: Several senior citizens in the city complain that Aasra Day Care Centres have a long way to go as far as providing basic facilities is concerned. One such issue that is causing a hindrance to the mobility of senior citizens in the daycare centres is the lack of wheelchairs or hand sticks.
For 77-year-old JST Sai, general secretary of Model Colony Welfare Association near Erragadda, having a hand stick would help him walk without anybody’s support.
“The GHMC doesn’t provide any sort of aid like wheelchairs or hand sticks. Such aids are a necessity at this age for us and would help us walk in and around the centre,” Sai said.
Currently, there are 150 day care centres in the GHMC limits and all of them get aid from the GHMC in the form of furniture, TVs and carom boards for recreation.
When contacted, a senior official of the corporate social responsibility wing (CSR) of the GHMC pointed out that such aids are provided only to persons with disabilities (PWDs). “Aids like wheelchairs are limited to those groups from VIKASAM (Vikalangula Karya Sankalpam). Currently, senior citizens do not come under the scheme,” said D Harichandana, CSR - GHMC. “We will look into extending such facilities to senior citizens as well,” she added. Meanwhile, others observe that opening of day care centres is most required in rural areas which constitute a majority of the senior citizen population.
“The city has a meagre 2 per cent of elderly population while the rest live in rural areas. They need day care centres more than us,” observed Krishna Reddy, general secretary of Elders Club International Foundation. While the city has got bus shelters with sophisticated features, several old bus stops still continue to lack facilities either for the senior citizens or for the PWDs.
“The bus drivers rarely stop at the bus stops and there is no concession given to people like us to travel by bus while the AP government gives benefits. Even seats in buses or the Metro are not offered. There is a need for cultural transformation,” said Sai.