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Volunteers a godsend for elderly stuck at home during pandemic

Volunteers a godsend for elderly stuck at home during pandemic
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Gurugram: The adverse impact of the spread of COVID-19 in Gurugram has been felt by the city's elderly, especially the septuagenarians and octogenarians.

Not only are they the most vulnerable to the contagious disease but staying indoors for long now has also affected their mental and physical well being. And a large number of the city's elderly are staying alone as their children are either working abroad or in other parts of the country.

To take care of these elderly, a large number of government and private volunteers have come forward and done their bit to provide as much comfort to them as possible.

There are over 300 government volunteers currently helping over 450 senior citizens in different parts of the city. Most entrepreneurs have also set up their businesses wherein they are providing manpower to assist the city's elderly who are not staying with their children.

The success of the volunteer-driven model to help the elderly in the city can be gauged from the fact that as the months have passed, the number of government volunteers for such projects has only increased.

As per the official data shared by the Gurugram District Administration, in March, there were 99 elderly persons who were helped. This increased to 275 in April and 324 in May. The figures of June are now being compiled but officials highlight that till June 26, there were 450 senior citizens who were being helped by over 300 volunteers.

The most sought after assistance is help that the elderly need in the delivery of essential items like groceries and food items, forming 51 per cent of the requests addressed by these volunteers. From March to May, these volunteers attended to 359 requests. Next in line is the delivery of medicines, related to which 145 requests came. This is followed by services in health consultation, for which 139 requests came in and there were 55 requests for other forms of assistance.

A large number of Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) here have also made sure that special arrangements are made to take care of senior citizens in their residential societies. The role of volunteers and RWA groups has increased further with a substantial number of the city's elderly being infected by COVID-19 and placed under home quarantine.

"Taking care of senior citizens has been one of our major concerns and we have tried to take every step to ensure their convenience. A large number of volunteers are working for the elderly in the city. We are ensuring that the senior citizens who are living alone do not feel left out in these difficult times," said a senior official from Gurugram District Administration.

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