Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NDMCT ‘s 1298 Senior Citizen Helpline for Mumbai launched

On 10th May 2010 , ‘1298 Senior Citizen Helpline for Mumbai’ was launched by Chief Guest Ms. Asha Parekh in presence of Guest of Honour Shri D. Shivnandan, Mrs. Priya Dutt, Honorable Member of Parliament and Ms. Sweta Mangal, CEO of Dial 1298 for Ambulance service.

India is gradually undergoing a demographic change. With decline in fertility and mortality rates accompanied by an improvement in child survival and increased life expectancy, a significant feature of demographic change is the progressive increase in the number of elderly persons. As on 2009 an estimated 8% population i.e. 91 million people of the total population of India are Senior Citizens above age group of 60 years, of which over 1.5 million resides in Mumbai. Presently India has the 2nd largest population of Senior Citizens in the globe. According to UN by 2050 the population of 60 plus in India would likely go up to 20%.

The now fading joint family system and the Indian cultural values that preached reverence and service towards the elders had served a protective and secure net for the elderly. The advent of nuclear families and other factors like children migrating to cities or abroad for better career opportunities have brought out a range of issues like insecurity, loneliness and lack of companionship leaving the elders more vulnerable in their twilight years. Coping with old age is becoming increasingly difficult, especially in cities like Mumbai. Sadly young people now see senior citizens as a burden. The respect they once enjoyed in the joint family is slowly disappearing. The changed scenario has given rise to three major needs: social, health and financial security of Elderly.

For the net savvy individuals there are many networking sites and online portals to connect to people across the globe. At the same time, for many senior citizens in the city just a phone call to someone to listen to them when they are in distressed or feeling lonely is sufficient.

Only government servants are entitled to pension. This means that literally 70 per cent of the Indian population gets no pension, not even those who have worked in the corporate sector for 30 to 40 years. Most senior citizens are in unorganized sector and are either on their children’s or dependent on their savings or their provident fund and gratuity, whose value is shrinking by the day.

Elder Abuse / Crimes against senior citizens where they have been specifically targeted due to their helplessness have been on the increase in Mumbai. In most cases, the crime is committed by relatives or their own children. There has been an increase in violence against senior citizens by domestic help also.

To address these issues and provide some relief to the senior citizens of Mumbai, The Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable Trust along with Dial 1298 for Ambulance in association with Silver Inning Foundation, Help Age India, Harmony for Silvers Foundation & FESCOM launched a 24 x 7 Senior Citizen’s Helpline (Referral Service) at a function held on 10th May which was attended by Chief Guest Ms. Asha Parekh and Guest of Honour Shri D. Shivnandan, Mrs. Priya Dutt, Honorable Member of Parliament and Ms. Sweta Mangal, CEO of Dial 1298 for Ambulance service. Around 200 people attended the programme.

The 1298 Senior Citizen Helpline (Referral Service) will work closely with prominent NGOs working with senior citizens to act as a bridge between a senior citizen and these NGOs. Any senior citizen requiring assistance can dial 1298 from landline or mobile from Mumbai which will connect them to a counselor who will be available 24X7 to assist them.

Mrs. Priya Dutt was quoted “Iam grateful to 1298 and other NGO’s for providing be an opportunity to serve our Elderly. My parents have been very near to me and in this was I could continue god work of my family. I will continue to support the work done my organization to provide help to ou elderly. Our Elders are treasure and backbone of our society and we need to make this world elder friendly.

Mr. D. Sivnanandan emphasis the need to protect elderly from crime, especially by the strangers and domestic service providers. He said registration of Senior Citizens with local police is must to provide them security. All households should also register their domestic help and verify therir credentials

Ms. Sweta Mangal also added that her organization 1298 is grateful to work for elderly and make their life much better. It’s important that organization should join hands for such a noble cause. Capacity building for organization would be another step foraward.

Mr.Sailesh Mishra was happy that at last Silver Inning Foundation’s advocacy and networking for the Senior Citizens has taken some shape. It has been nearly one year work to bringing everyone on one common platform. He said a holistic approach and continuous effort to provide need base services will be important for the success of this Helpline.

About Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable Trust (NDMCT):
The Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable Trust (NDMCT) was founded by the (Late) Padmashri Sunil Dutt in memory of his wife (Late) Smt. Nargis Dutt, with a prime objective of funding and helping patients suffering from cancer for whom good and timely medical treatment was a distant dream.Mr. Sunil Dutt worked tirelessly and selflessly to ensure that the Foundation undertook various fund raising drives, the proceeds of which were used to buy life saving diagnostic medical equipment, medicines, transfer of Technology and various other materials which were sent to specialized cancer hospitals across India for the benefit of patients being treated there.

In the area of health- care NDMCT arranges medical camps and provides medical aid to the poor and needy. For the victims of Bihar Flood (in 2008) NDMCT organized a month long medical camp which treated nearly 30,000 families. NDMCT’s recent activity has been the “Platelet Donation Drive “at Tata Memorial Hospital.

NDMCT has now diversified to the field of education as well, wherein we provide vocational training (like computer courses, adult literacy classes) and sponsorship fees to the students who are eager to study and learn. NDMCT has also partnered with FLY – Future Lies in iur Youth to prevent suicides among the student community.

About Dial 1298 for Ambulance:-
“Dial 1298 for Ambulance” is an initiative to provide a network of Fully Equipped Advanced and Basic Life Support Ambulances 24 hours x 7 days a week. The service has been setup with technical and managerial assistance from London Ambulance Service and New York Presbyterian EMS, two of the world’s largest and best metropolitan Ambulance Services.

In case of a medical emergency, a person can dial 1298 from any phone for accessing a fully equipped Advanced Life Support (ALS) or Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulance within the shortest possible time. In Mumbai, “DIAL 1298 FOR AMBULANCE” service covers the entire area of Greater Mumbai from Colaba to Kalyan / Panvel on the Central Line and Churchgate to Vasai on the Western Line with its 21 ALS Ambulances and 30 BLS Ambulances. 1298 Ambulance is available, on average, 15 - 20 minutes to reach the place of incidence whenever called for service. Dial 1298 for Ambulance works closely with Traffic Police Mumbai, Western Railways and Central Railways to assist them in reaching medical support to the victims in accidents on roads and railways in Mumbai with 2 dedicated Ambulances placed in Traffic Chowkis on Eastern and Western Expressways and 10 Ambulances placed in Railway Stations across Mumbai. Since the launch of the service, the service has transported over 120,000 patients / victims.
For more information ctc: Rubina D’Souza 9923640870 / rubina.dsouza AT 1298.org.in

About our Associates:
About Silver Inning Foundation:
Silver Inning Foundation is registered NGO dedicated for the cause of Senior Citizens. It is part of social enterprise Silver Innings which hosts one of the most comprehensive and dedicated website for elderly & their family www.silverinnigs.com . Silver Innings is working towards creating Elder Friendly World where Ageing becomes a Positive and Rewarding Experience.

About Help Age India:
HelpAge India is a national level secular, non political, non-profit and non-government organization working for the cause and care of disadvantaged older persons. We endeavor to improve their quality of life and have been doing so for the last 31 years. The cause of the elderly needs attention because we are a society in transition with changing values, which has led to the breakdown of the joint family, resulting in lack of security for the elderly. We voice the needs of India’s 90 million (current estimate)“grey” population, and directly impact the lives of lakhs of elders through our services every year. Website: http://www.helpageindia.org/

The Federation of Senior Citizens Organizations' of Maharashtra, Unifying and strengthening the comprehensive welfare activities of senior citizen and their organizations under one banner and leadership, and utilizing their precious knowledge, wide experience, wisdom, energy and skill for welfare of the society in general and Senior Citizen in particular. Website: http://www.fescom-for-sr-citizens.org.in/

About The Harmony for Silvers Foundation:
The Harmony for Silvers Foundation is a non-government organization working to improve quality of life for everyone as they age. Harmony for Silvers Foundation is a social initiative espouses the cause of promoting the interests of senior citizens in the country. The initiative has a three-tiered approach. We have set up our first Harmony Interactive Centre for Silvers Citizens in Girgaum, Thakurdwar. In addition we also run a magazine Harmony- Celebrate Age and a website-portal for Silver Citizens. Website: www.harmonyindia.org

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