Chennai, April, 2010:
Dignity Foundation, established in 1995, is a registered not-for-profit organization, headquartered in Mumbai with chapters in cities like Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. It runs many innovative services for people over 50 years of age;
The elderly, who are living a reclusive life due to loneliness or age-related problems have a new service to look forward to which will enable them to talk and share their feelings/ issues and concerns etc. over phone. Dignity Foundation Chennai has started the Dignity Helpline service for the elderly citizens of Chennai. Dignity Foundation’s Dignity Helpline number in Chennai is 044 – 42133002
The Dignity Helpline not only educates seniors about their legal rights, but also provides access to critical services. Some seniors are isolated geographically, or by disabilities that limit their mobility or understanding, thereby face issues pertaining to loneness, many are struggling to maintain their independence, and may be unaware of resources available to them in their communities. Seniors are often targeted for theft, economic crimes, and abuse .They may face trouble with regards to their family, neighbors, institutions, etc. In any such scenario, a senior citizen can now call Dignity Helpline Service to seek help/counseling/advice and companionship.
At Dignity Foundation, professional counselors and qualified social workers with expertise in various fields provide assistance to distressed calls from elders, not only in listening to such problems but also in overseeing the progress of the complaint and bringing it to its logical conclusion.
The Total number of calls attended in the month of Feb 2010: 93 (i.e.3-4 calls per day).Out of the 93 calls attended, 63 callers needs were met with and the rest in progress. The Total number of calls attended in the month of March 2010 (upto 4pm on 30th): 193 (i.e. 6-7 calls per day).Out of the 193 calls attended, 118 callers needs were met with and the rest in progress. Most of the pending cases are related to legal advice seeking and hence it takes time to get proper cum expert suggestions from the professionals.
The services that every senior citizen in the city can avail by calling this number are:
• Legal aid
• Reconciliation forum
• Police assistance
• Psychological Assistance
People aged 50 and over today form 8% of the Indian population. This percentage will double by 2030. There are hardly any services or care available for the elderly from the Govt. or private sector. Dignity Foundation is one organization that fills this gap. By being present in Chennai, Dignity Foundation aims to directly interact with seniors, understand their problems, and provide benefits, services and opportunities while promoting the concept of productive ageing.
Civic services, magazine Dignity Dialogue, Second careers, Counseling Centers, Enrichment Centers, Elder Care facilities and Homes for the Old , Companionship services to the lonely, Computer Skills, Helpline for crisis counseling and rescue from abuse, Police protection for endangered lives among the elderly, Senior Citizens ID Card in Maharashtra, Dementia Care, Dignity on Wheel, Ration Supplies to the poor old and Cultural enrichment activities.
Mr. K. Radhakrishnan, Director, Dignity Foundation Chennai said “We are aiming to make a difference in the lives of elderly Chennaites over 50 years of age. Actually, the Dignity Helpline started as a telephonic extension to the Dignity Companionship service. It is today dedicated exclusively for the help and rescue of older persons. Every day the Dignity Helpline in Chennai receives 5-7 calls of elders who are being abused, harassed, neglected, or denied their rights. Our main objective is to attend to the needs of the elderly whose social support systems have weakened or are non-existent.”