KOCHI: Senior citizens should be provided with circumstances which will help them lead a life of dignity, said C K Nanu MLA, chairman of the Senior Citizen’s Welfare Council appointed by the Kerala Assembly. As a first step, the Council will make sure 20 per cent reservation of seats in buses for senior citizens is strictly implemented on KSRTC and private buses. The situation where senior citizens wait for hours in long queues at government hospitals should also be changed, said members of the Council.
After attending a sitting of the Council at the District Administration head office here, Nanu instructed RTO, Police and Motor Vehicle Department officers to conduct routine inspections on buses to make sure seats are reserved for senior citizens. The Council also entrusted the DMO the responsibility of making sure senior citizens do not wait in queues for treatment at government hospitals. “The situation needs to change. Senior citizens should be provided with chairs and similar facilities at hospitals. Those suffering from severe ailments should be provided with wheelchairs,” said the Council.
The Council also gave assurance to Ayyappankavu Pakalveedu president Radhakrishnan Nair it would take steps to utilise the services of senior citizens for social welfare. It instructed the District Collector to solve the issues related with setting up of a permanent building for ‘pakalveedu’ and transfer of ownership.
Meanwhile, the Kudumbashree officers informed the Council that ‘pakalveedu’ projects will be launched at 28 panchayats this year.
“The pilot project for giving training to senior citizens on various crafts has already launched in the district. Senior citizens’ ‘ayalkkoottam’ meetings are already organised at Mulanthuruthy and Edakkattuvayal panchayats. Projects for physiotherapy and special tours for senior citizens are also in the pipeline. This year, the project will be launched in seven panchayats. Training for panchayat presidents on the new project will be conducted next week,” said Kudumbashree coordinator Tany Thomas.
The Council also considered various grievances raised by senior citizens. A total of 27 complaints, including insurance schemes for seniors, utilisation of welfare funds and the bad condition of the Poothatta Community Health Centre was considered and referred to officials concerned for redressal. The complaints were mainly submitted by Senior Citizen’s Friends Welfare Association and other forums in Ernakulam.
The Council also recommended that the state government consider payment of compensation to senior citizens whose lands were acquired for the electronics park at Amballoor.
After the sitting, Council members visited the old age home at Thevara which has 32 inmates, including 11 men. The inmates told Council members they were fully satisfied with the food and accommodation facilities provided to them.