Coronavirus in Mumbai: Bombay Parsi Punchayet starts helpline for aged Parsis in distress

The organization has arranged for tiffin service for instance, for two seniors from the community who live in Borivali. Out of the two sisters, one is a cancer patient.

Bhavna UchilUpdated: Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 08:54 PM IST
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The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) has launched a helpline recently to help the large aging population of the community left hapless due to the Coronavirus lockdown.

Kersi Randeria, a trustee of the over three-century old organization formed in 1681, says that this is a community centric programme as over half of around 50,000 Parsis in the city and its suburbs are senior citizens.

“It is well known that our community has a large number of aged people – many of them live as lone residents or maybe siblings or as senior couples whose children are married and residing elsewhere,” added Randeria.

These seniors are feeling crippled due to the lockdown with difficulty to access provisions or medicine. Some depend on tiffin services for food, which have suddenly stopped due to the lockdown. “While many community members live in colonies, they may not feel comfortable calling on neighbours to arrange for food,” explains Randeria. It is even more challenging for those who are living outside colonies.

The BPP has formed Whatsapp groups in different areas such as Byculla, Grant Road, Tardeo, Dadar, Mahim, Andheri and Goregaon and made a group of volunteers who try to address needs of those and nearby areas if anyone calls on the helpline.

In one day, the helpline has come to the rescue of 60 to 70 community members. “Most requests are to arrange for cooked food. Some policemen have also come to our help in carrying food or medicine to old people,” he adds.

The organization has arranged for tiffin service for instance, for two seniors from the community who live in Borivali. Out of the two sisters, one is a cancer patient.

“There are no newspapers now. My difficulty is reaching out to the old people who live in the by lanes of Grant Road or Tardeo. They do not have any social media to get to know about this helpline. They have a basic landline phone and whose helper has stopped coming,” concludes Randeria. The BPP has encouraged those in distress to call on these helpline numbers, 9867946384 and 9819027857.

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