Prasanthi, a helpline for senior citizens living alone

Representative Image. Photo: Robert Kneschke/

'Prasanthi' is a mobile application launched by Kerala Police as helpline to support senior citizens who live alone. When Thiruvananthapuram native Pramitha called the helpline requesting help after a snake was spotted in the house where her aged parents lived, the information was immediately passed on to the nodal officer of Janamaithri Thiruvananthapuram. The snake catcher was alerted and he soon reached the spot to help the senior citizens.

Hello! Prasanthi

Malappuram native Rasiya didn’t have anyone else to call to stay with her husband who was admitted in the hospital for surgery. So, she called Prasanthi helpline and sought help. The request was passed on to the nearby police station. A civil police officer was immediately sent to the hospital as a bystander.

These are just some of the calls that were received at Prasanthi seeking help and support. The authorities say that they often get calls from old people sharing their woes about how their son ignores them or the daughter-in-law abandoned them. At least 100 – 150 such calls reach Prasanthi’s helpline every day. Most calls are requests for help and safety. Besides, some people call to seek legal aid, help for reaching the hospital, or to buy medicines.

The squad

The calls that are received at Prasanthi would be passed on to the concerned police stations. The members are also trained to provide counselling and other support. The beat police officers in the police stations would collect the details of the senior citizens who live alone in the locality. This information is then recorded in the senior citizens’ register. The police officers would call them every fortnight to enquire about their well-being. Besides, the police teams would occasionally visit their homes too. They would also buy medicines, food supplies and other essentials for old people who can’t go out.

Prasanthi is a helpline that functions 24 hours to support senior citizens and to inform the police about their various problems and difficulties. Prasanthi has so far received 33,694 calls since its inauguration. The authorities say that they have been able to ensure support or provide other help to most of these requests.

Prasanthi’s help desk functions in the office of the state industrial security force near Thiruvananthapuram Peroorkada SAP camp. It is headed by Thiruvananthapuram Range DIG R Nishantini who is also the state nodal officer of Janamaithri safety project.

Senior citizens can contact Kerala janamaithri police on mobile numbers 9497900035, 9497900045 to seek help.

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