The State government on Tuesday launched the pan-India toll-free helpline–14567–for senior citizens called the ‘Elder Line’, which will aims to provide free information and guidance on pension and legal issues, extend emotional support, and intervene in cases of abuse.
The helpline has been initiated and funded by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, Senior Citizens Division.
Social Welfare Minister, Kyrmen Shylla inaugurated the helpline at a programme held in the conference hall of the Directorate of Social Welfare.
Shylla informed that the process of setting up the helpline was initiated and the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India and the Government of Meghalaya, Social Welfare Department and PACE computers was signed on January 15, 2021.
In view of the transformation of the societal structure which has resulted in the breaking away of the joint family structure to the nuclear family structure, a large population of elderly population has been left with no or little support, care and treatment they deserve, he added.
To come to the aid of the senior citizens, the Government has come up with numerous welfare schemes/programmes implemented through the Social Welfare Department, Health Department, Community and Rural Development Department, Food and Civil Supplies Department etc. Shylla also informed that the government is planning to establish old age homes in every district of the State in the next five years and the department will provide adequate budget provision in the next financial year for construction of a permanent Old Age Home at Mawkasiang to cater to the need for shelter, food, medical requirement of the elderly having no family support.
Others who spoke were Sampath Kumar, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department and C. C Sohliya, Programme Manager, Elder Helpline Meghalaya.