As the people of Telangana celebrate Sankranti with their families, flying kites and distributing sweets, the policy in Warangal have decided to spread the cheer by spending time with the elders in the district. Officers have been visiting senior citizens who live alone, giving them new clothes and sweets for the festive season.
“We started meeting elderly people living alone or with their partners, who have nobody to care take of them, on January 12. During the festival they feel very lonely because most of their children stay at a different place. To assure them that the police will always be there to take care of their security and safety, we thought of celebrating the festival by meeting and talking to them,” said Deputy Commissioner of police Warangal, Venugopal.
More than 60 police officials took part in the outreach programme, including three DCPs, eight ACPs and the Commissioner.
In 2015, Warangal police introduced a special ‘Senior Citizen Care and Concern Desk’ at the commissionerate, dedicated to working for elders in the city. “Many of our inspectors visit the elderly every week to ensure their safety. They are vulnerable to crimes as they stay alone. In 2015, an incident happened where an elderly couple were robbed by their house helps, so we take extra care to ensure their safety in the district,” Venugopal said.
Although it’s a part of their job, the DCP says many of the inspectors and sub-inspectors had developed an emotional bond with the seniors they regularly visit. So far, the Warangal police has reached out to 150 couples for Sankranti, and are planning to distribute more new clothes on Sunday evening. “We got their blessings and became even more close to our citizens after this programme,” he added.
“All the couples we met started crying, and it was an emotional moment for every police official here. An 80-year-old woman offered to make tea and snacks for each of us,” he said.
This is not the first citizen outreach programme of the Warangal police. On December 21, they conducted a self defence training for women in the district. “Over 2700 women participated in the one hour training, it was a huge event in Warangal. We taught them how use some simple techniques to protect themselves also assured them that police will help them whenever needed,” the DCP said.