VISAKHAPATNAM: Minister for Women, Children, Differently-abled and Senior Citizens KV Ushashri Charan launched ‘Elder Line’, a helpline number for senior citizens, in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. On dialling 14567, any elderly person can seek information and advice on legal, health, financial and social issues. Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu had launched the national helpline, set up by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, in New Delhi on October 1, 2021 to mark the International Day for Older Persons.
Elder Line is functional in all 26 districts and its services are available from 8 am-8 pm every day. There are 10 call officers at the Vizag Connect Centre, seven field response officers and four team leaders led by a programme manager.
It will be run by HelpAge India, an NGO, in collaboration with the State government, the Department for the Differently-abled and Senior Citizens, and National Institute of Social Defence—an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice.
A platform for redressal of senior citizens’ grievances
Urging the elderly to use the helpline’s services, Ushashri Charan explained that the main purpose of Elder Line is to provide information, legal advice and guidance through a consortium of committed partners, including government agencies, and non-profit organisations, and a team of volunteers. “It acts as a platform to redress grievances of senior citizens across India,” the minister said. Stating that HelpAge India has been working towards offering services to the elderly for over four decades, Ushashri Charan said the NGO strives for a society where the elderly have the right to live an active and healthy life.