Govt must relook at concessions for senior citizens

Updated: 01 October, 2020 07:45 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Now, months on and with national services coming on track, our silver-haired set is demanding that these concessions be reinstated.

CR is likely to announce additional services for the essential category this week. File pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
CR is likely to announce additional services for the essential category this week. File pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Just as the city is reopening very gradually one step at a time, the government and other authorities must think about easing life and burdens of the common man.

Every small unlock or return to things as they were, is hugely challenging. However, when opening, there must be a holistic look at the picture.

For instance, concessions for senior citizens for train travel were stopped just as the lockdown happened. One has to admit that all this has been done with good intentions. Several concessions had been withdrawn to discourage non-essential travel. In fact, on several stations, platform ticket prices had zoomed once again with an eye on curtailing non-essential commuting and limiting the number of people on the platform and in the trains.

Now, months on and with national services coming on track, our silver-haired set is demanding that these concessions be reinstated.

The Railways needs to take a look at this and see if there is genuine merit in this demand.

The seniors are the vulnerable bracket during this pandemic. It has hit them very hard, both in terms of numbers where we have lost so many older people and also when it comes to loneliness and vulnerability, helplessness and a feeling of real alienation.

Many from the older set are at sea when it comes to digitisation. This is a severe setback now when most of us communicate and work digitally. Online bills and procedures are hugely intimidating for a demographic which has not grown up with devices and still feels comfortable with physical paperwork.

They are also severely restricted when it comes to mobility. If commuting is necessary and it helps this group, concessions can certainly be relooked at, at least for the seniors.

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First Published: 01 October, 2020 06:03 IST

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