The Delhi High Court Thursday asked the Delhi government and cops to continue discharging their duties “meticulously” during the lockdown period to “avoid any inconvenience to senior citizens”.
Noting that adequate steps have been taken by the Delhi government to attend to the requirements of senior citizens, a bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad sought to know, as to why has a “dedicated helpline not been set up by the Delhi Government for the senior citizens just as the Delhi Police has done”.
Delhi government’s Additional Standing Counsel Anuj Aggarwal submitted that “in the event a dedicated helpline has not been set up so far, the same shall be activated within two days…”.
As per the counsel, the Delhi Police has a dedicated helpline for senior citizens bearing number 1291. “Government of NCT of Delhi has also established an APP called ‘Delhi Police Senior Citizens App’. Besides that, Delhi Police has a dedicated helpline for the general public bearing number 1075,” he said.
Aggarwal, during the hearing on April 22, further informed the bench that they have “created a team of Corona Warriors to identify and red flag senior citizens with pre-existing ailments.
“There are 13,750 ‘Corona Foot Warriors Containment and Surveillance Teams’ (CFWCST) formed at the polling station level. Each team has a booth level officer, ASHA/Anganwadi worker, sanitation staff of the civic agency, Beat Constable of Delhi Police and a Civil Defence volunteer as a member.”
He apprised the bench that the said team is required to call up each senior citizen in the area under their jurisdiction and enquire about their health and in case of any health issues, they will pass on the information to the respective District Magistrates and the health Department.
“Each team covers 500 houses under their jurisdiction and are required to call upon and visit at least 50 houses per day. The contact details of each person living in a particular area are already available with the respective looth level officers. The said team is not only required to visit the houses of senior citizens in their area and ask about their well-being, but they also attend to their requirement relating to essential commodities…,” he submitted.
The Delhi government’s response came in the backdrop of the plea by advocate — Ajit Kumar — who has sought directions to provide essential services at home to senior citizens in Delhi, during this lockdown period imposed by the State.
The court disposed of the petition, which also stated that “out of a total population of two crores in Delhi, 8% are senior citizens and due to the lockdown imposed by the government, they have been compelled to stay at home.”
“In this duration, many of the senior citizens who live alone as their children are residing abroad or are out of town, do not have any support system and are unable to access facilities like banking, medical, etc. “They are forced to step out of their houses for purchasing essential items like groceries, milk, medicines and for withdrawing money from banks. In view of their increased vulnerability, there is the likelihood of their getting infected with Covid-19, which may prove fatal to them,” the petitioner has said.
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