Managing essential services like visiting the bank, post offices and market for livelihood has become difficult for the elderly population of Leninnagar.
The nationwide lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic has left Indians in distress. Managing essential services like visiting the bank, post offices and market has become difficult for the elderly population of Leninnagar in West Bengal.
Rita Mukherjee, a 74-year-old widow who stays alone in Leninnagar was unable to visit the post office that is four kilometres away, to withdraw her monthly pension due to lack of transportation in the area. Rita said, “I need to go to the post office to withdraw my pension. I usually withdraw it on the third or fourth day of every month, but this time due to the lack of transportation, I was unable to visit the office. I have arthritis which makes it difficult for me to walk. I’ve asked an acquaintance for help, hopefully, I will be able to visit the office soon.”
Leninnagar is located in a census town named Ichapur under Garulia Municipality in West Bengal. Sanjay Singh, the chairman of the municipality said help will be arranged if people complain about transportation. He said, “We have not stopped people to go to the bank and post offices. We don’t have any provision for the elderly right now, but if anyone complains we can help them with rickshaws and other transportation.”
The chief postmaster general of West Bengal circle had announced that pension will be delivered at home for people aged more than 80 years in the state. However, accessing other services like banks, ATMs and markets in the state have become difficult for senior citizens.
Dr I.S Roy, the President of Indian Association of Retired persons, advised that the initiative followed by the Kerala Government can be helpful. He said, “The police force can be used very judiciously at this time. They can assist elderly people for their daily needs. We can follow the model Kerala has implemented. The state has recorded the contact details of all elderly people and is keeping track of them either via phone call or house visit. We need a structured plan to combat this; the governing bodies have to take precautions for the problems ahead of time.”
The govt. of India, recently extended the nationwide lockdown till May 3. However, without assistance, elderly people will suffer the brunt of the lockdown.