Octogenarian Lalita Subramanyam, a resident of Wadala in central Mumbai, was in for a pleasant surprise this morning when police landed at her doorstep. Subramanyam has been living alone in her flat for the last 25 years and is on local police’s list of `senior citizens requiring care and protection’.
Two of her children live in the United States while another son lives in Bengaluru. As her children could not visit her today on her 83rd birthday, Matunga police, who help her with chores such as purchasing medicines and bank transactions, decided to give her a surprise. Officials from the police station reached her house this morning with a cake and bouquet of flowers. Subramanyam cut the cake in the presence of Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Dudhe, who was Zonal DCP of this area last year, and senior police inspector B M Kakad along with a police constable who regularly calls on her.
An overwhelmed Subramanyam blessed the officers.
“She is like my mother…she was very happy with the birthday celebration,” said inspector Kakad. “She said her children visit her few times a year but are unable to come frequently,” he said.
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Mumbai police have a dedicated helpline 1090 for senior citizens. They tweeted pictures from the celebrations too.
Lalita ji,fondly called d ‘mother’ of Matunga PStn, turned 83. Retweet to wish her & V will convey ur message to her pic.twitter.com/ql09gZTIfi
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) January 2, 2017
Senior citizens living alone call the helpline if they require any help, or, sometimes, just because they are feeling lonely. Late R R Patil, when he was the home minister, started the initiative under which police officials regularly meet the senior citizens living alone under their respective jurisdictions to help them and make them feel safe.