With an aim to help the senior citizens, the central government on Tuesday, September 28, launched the country's first pan-India toll-free helpline— 14567 called the 'Elder Line', which will provide free information, guidance on pension, medical and legal assistance, besides giving emotional support, intervene in cases of abuse and rescue homeless elderly.
The helpline was officially launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The intent is to provide all senior citizens with one platform across India to connect and share their problems, get information and guidance on problems that they face on a daily basis, without having to struggle for it, the Ministry said in a statement.
Elder Line, a culmination of the initiative by Tata Trusts, country's oldest philanthropy, took through its partner, Vijayavahini Charitable Foundation, in 2017, in collaboration with the Government of Telangana in Hyderabad, to help the elderlies in the city.
Over 300 Million Senior Citizens Expected By 2050
As per the Ministry's statement, India is expected to have over 300 million senior citizens by 2050, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of the elderly population. Most of the nations have a population less than this figure.
"People from this age group face several mental, emotional, financial, legal and physical challenges, and the pandemic has further worsened it. What is more important is that this age group is a basket of wisdom and untapped resource for the complete economic and social growth of the country," the statement said.
Tata Trusts and National Stock Exchange (NSE) Foundation, as technical partners, are supporting the ministry in operationalising the Elder Line. Till date, 17 states have already opened this helpline and others are on the path to start this initiative. More than 2 lakh calls have been received in the last four months, and over 30,000 seniors have been serviced. Among these, about 40 per cent of calls were related to assistance required in the vaccination and nearly 23 per cent of calls were related to pension.