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'Elder line': The pan-India toll-free helpline for the elderly

The scope of the information provided could range from pension to legal issues, emotional support and intervention on the field in cases of abuse, and rescue the homeless elderly.

Elder line The pan-India toll-free helpline for the elderly VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Sep 28, 2021, 5:56 PM IST
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The country's first pan-India toll-free helpline – 14567 -- called ‘Elder Line’ has been operationalised by the Centre.

The 'Elder Line' is expected to provide free information and guidance to senior citizens. 

The scope of the information provided could range from pension to legal issues, emotional support and intervention on the field in cases of abuse, and rescue the homeless elderly.

The significance of the 'Elder Line' -- an initiative by India’s oldest philanthropy Tata Trusts and Vijayavahini Charitable Foundation, in 2017, in collaboration with the Telangana government -- comes at a time when, as per projections, India is expected to have nearly 20% elderly population or over 300 million senior citizens by 2050. 

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The sheer percentage of the elderly population assumes significance as many nations have a lesser population than this number. 

According to the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, this elderly face multitude of mental, emotional, financial, legal and physical challenges. These challenges have further multiplied due to the pandemic. 

To date, 17 states have already opened the 'Elder line' in their jurisdictions while others are expected to roll out the service.

The 'Elder Line' is already making a serious impact and fulfilling its purpose. 

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Government data suggests that over two lakh calls have been received in the last four months alone. Around 40 per cent of phone calls sought assistance with regard to Covid-19 vaccination while another 23 per cent were linked to pension queries.

The data further said that over 30,000 seniors have already been assisted using the 'Elder line'. 

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