THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Senior Citizens Council has decided to set up an alert system, helpline and call centre for elderly people in the state. At least two grama sabhas will be held in a year to discuss the problems being faced by the elderly. Members of the state and district senior citizens council will take part in these meetings.
The finance department will be approached to ensure disbursal of senior citizens’ pension on the first of every month as in the case of service pensions. These decisions were taken at the third meeting of the council chaired by Social Justice Minister K.K. Shylaja.
The meeting reached an understanding on setting up paid old age homes. The social justice department director has been entrusted with the task of acquiring buildings, determining the rent, number of inmates and finalisation of guidelines for the running of the old age home.
Changes would be made under the provisions of the Senior Citizens Act to ensure effective intervention of Janamaithri police in issues related to elderly people and for constituting a committee of volunteers.
Steps will be taken to provide free treatment including diagnostic test for senior citizens in government hospitals and medical colleges. The possibility of reducing the age of beneficiaries under the Vayomithram scheme from 65 to 60 will be considered. A Day Care and Couple Home with modern facilities will be set up in each district with the assistance of NGOs and other investors in each district.
The meeting decided to write to the transport department to consider the identity card given by Senior Citizens Friends Welfare Association for the purpose of seat reservation.