NEW DELHI: For effective management and smooth functioning of the senior citizen helpline during the pandemic, the Delhi government has deployed four officials of the social welfare department (SWD) for monitoring of the service.
The department has also framed guidelines for them to ensure counseling and guidance to elderly in need.
“The officials will coordinate with HelpAge India (an non-profit organization for disadvantaged elderly senior citizens) to utilise the manpower engaged for new elderly helpline for which the department has entered into an MoU with HelpAge India as a project supported by the Ministry of Social Justice and National Institute of Social Defense (NISD),” said an official.
The DDMA on April 30 passed an order to start a helpline for senior citizens to give information related to coronavirus. The number 1077 is operational round the clock. An official said that until the further order, the SWD staff would be posted at the divisional commissioner office attending to the distress calls related to senior citizens impacted during the pandemic.
“The arrangements have been put in place to attend telephonic calls from senior citizens promptly. The staff will provide guidance with regard to the online process in the district portal of applying for senior citizen pension and will also answer queries regarding non receipt of pensions,” said he.
Besides counselling and guidance, the helpline staff will link them with DDMA NGO services such as food distribution, shelter, medicines and also provide Covid related items such as marks and sanitizers.
“The staff will guide and counsel how to take care during the Covid pandemic time and facilitate linking up with government and NGO resources with respect to education and health. They also provide counseling to senior citizens with respect to protecting themselves from the Covid Pandemic,” said another official. The helpline staff have also been asked to be cordial and polite, and handle the queries with patience.