Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Cause for the elderly

Today morning the prominent daily of Canada The Gazette carried a front-page lead picture of police constables helping a 95-year-old senior citizen to leave for a pub. It was a program organised by the local police for taking elderly women from the Fulford Residence Retirement Home – an old-age home - for an outing chaperoned by the policemen.
The picture in the daily reminded me of a similar project that was launched with Kolkata Police back home in Kolkata. The project called Pronam was the brainchild of the Kolkata Police Commissioner and our welfare organisation The Bengal – a joint initiative. The 24-hour emergency coordination line for senior citizens in Kolkata, under the police jurisdiction, received tremendous response with senior citizen membership base touching 1500. The Puja outings, movie shows, picnics and health check-up support programs made Pronam a very popular project among the elderly who are all alone. This project has infused a sense of security and a will to live a dignified life. Right from the inception, the Kolkata Police has given its whole-hearted support to this project. (Picture: Left to right - Smt Madhabi Mukherjee, Gautam Mohan Chakraborty, Mr H M Bangur, Mr Sunil Gangopadhyay and Mr Soumitra Chatterjee)
There is one senior citizen residency home or old-age home in West Island called Chateau Dollard that is well known for its facilities. I am planning a visit to see if I could pick up on some new ideas that I can introduce in Pronam.
I remember when Pronam was formally inaugurated (Picture: Left to Right - Mr Gautam Mohan Chakrabarty, Smt Krishna Bose) many people had doubts about its working and the very success of the project. But today, with a 1500 membership base, the initial target of having 1000 members has well been surpassed. Once I return to Kolkata I will deliberate with the Kolkata Police and the Joint Convenors of Project fashion designer Ms Agnimitra Paul and actor-director, Mr Arindam Sil, to work out the modalities and finalise a date for a program `Pronam 1500’. I look forward to it.
ess bee

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