After the government temporarily closed recreation centres for senior citizens of the national capital in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the elders of Delhi seem to be quite unhappy as per Covid-19 pandemic in India updates.
While the government stipulated anyone above 65 years to stay indoors, Delhi’s senior citizens are demanding their recreational centres be thrown open again as Unlock 1.0 has opened up most of the economy.
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“You would appreciate that during lockdown senior citizens suffer the most, as their drivers or domestic help have left and they are not in a position to visit their CGHS dispensaries due to guidelines to the effect that senior citizens of 65+ cannot go for a walk or buy basic essential commodities. They have been handicapped since then and in the absence of recreation centres ,they are not able to visit for availing free daily facilities,” said J.R. Gupta, Chairperson, Confederation of Senior Citizens Associations of Delhi, which is an umbrella body of 18 lakh senior citizens.
The confederation has also made a representation to the social welfare minister as well as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanding that such centres in green zones be thrown open, once again.
There are around 122 such centres across Delhi which get a grant in the range of Rs 1.20 lakh to Rs 2.40 lakh each every year from the government. But the Delhi government refused to reopen them and its social welfare department also suggested a pause in funding them.
“Considering the prevailing conditions due to Covid-19 and need for strictly observing social distancing, continuation of activities at recreation centres for senior citizens is not advisable. Hence, the grant in aid with regard to recreation centres will be withheld until further orders.”
One such community centre is in South Delhi’s Green Park Extension area. Gupta claims that the centre has homoeopathy dispensary, physiotherapy, blood sugar test, computer training, Yoga, library, newspapers, television, carrom board, chess, ludo, health checkup camps, consultations from eminent doctors and spiritual discourses. He claims joint birthday celebrations are also organized every month to keep the elders’ spirits high. But with the closure, they face uncertainty.
While due to their vulnerabilities, the government is strictly for men and women above 65 years of age to stay indoors, in wake of the pandemic, however the senior citizens of Delhi are not convinced.
“Due to indefinite lockdown, senior citizens would die in their houses suffering from loneliness,” sighs Gupta. (IANS)