To get essentials delivered at doorstep as Police re-purpose ‘Abhaya’ initiative during lockdown
Mysore/Mysuru: Senior citizens have been identified as the most vulnerable groups when it comes to the Coronavirus.
In Mysuru, for senior citizens living by themselves and hesitant to step outdoors owing to concerns regarding COVID-19, the Police have re-purposed the ‘Abhaya’ concept to offer assistance where senior citizens are helped with door-to-door delivery of groceries and other essentials.
Due to the restrictions on outside movement, seniors are unable to purchase and carry goods to their homes as there are curbs on vehicle movement too. They can now call ‘Abhaya’ helpline on 0821-2418340 and place their requirement for essential services. Volunteers will deliver their requirements to their doorstep. The senior citizens only have to pay for the goods and there will be no delivery charges, City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta, who has re-purposed the scheme to suit COVID times, told Star of Mysore.
Apart from delivering items, the volunteers will also ensure that the seniors are safe at home. A volunteer is assigned based on the area the senior citizen is from, and the former takes down the list of groceries, accepts payment and delivers the essentials.
Keeping in mind the importance of social distancing, all volunteers have been instructed to place the groceries at the doorstep of the senior citizens as well as follow adequate precautions by wearing masks, gloves and using sanitiser.
“Several people and voluntary organisations have come forward and said that they would be ready to volunteer and help out senior citizens in their areas. We are creating a network for better co-ordination. In addition, Policemen have been assigned this work in every Police Station in city. Not only delivering things, other essentials like medicine supplies, paying electricity, water and telephone bills, payment of taxes, etc. will be carried out by the volunteers,” Dr. Chandragupta said.
M.A. Saleem’s initiative
It was former City Police Commissioner M.A. Saleem who launched ‘Abhaya’ in Mysuru in 2013. He is now the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Administration. When it was launched, as many as 822 houses were identified by the Police during a survey on the number of old people living alone. The programme was on the lines of Aasare, a programme launched in coastal districts for senior citizens.
As per the scheme, the Police would identify senior citizens staying alone as well as elderly couples and make arrangements for their protection including visits by beat Police. Point books will be kept at the houses of senior citizens and Police personnel would visit them daily and make entries. The Police personnel would also make efforts to shift senior citizens with the help of neighbours to the nearest hospitals in case of any health emergency. Help would be extended to them to pay their regular bills too.
“I am happy to see that a novel scheme such as ‘Abhaya’ is being re-purposed and re-launched in Mysuru,” Saleem said.