What’s in the news?
- The Government of India has launched the first pan-India toll-free helpline–14567–for senior citizens called the ‘Elder Line’, which aims to provide free information and guidance on pension and legal issues, extend emotional support, and intervene in cases of abuse.
- The intent is to provide senior citizens, or their well-wishers, with one platform to connect and share their concerns, get information and guidance on problems that they face on a day-to-day basis, without having to struggle for it.
- India will have over 300 million senior citizens by 2050. People in this age group face various mental, emotional, financial, legal and physical challenges, with the pandemic having exacerbated matters.
- A recent study conducted by the Agewell Foundation, an NGO working for welfare and empowerment of the elderly, found that the generation gap has widened due to stretched spells of the pandemic and related lockdowns/restrictions like social distancing.
- The pandemic has brought many challenges for the elderly – social isolation, financial penury, abuse, and neglect.