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22 January 2009

Young puneites throw up ideas to make the city a better place for senior citizens
No Longer a haven for the Elderly?
Build footpaths on all roads for easy walking
Rahel Kale
Better footpaths are the need of the hour. Apart from improving the existing ones, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) should also focus on building footpaths on all the roads. This will help senior citizens walk on the overcrowded roads in the city. The traffic situation is scary for everyone and more so for senior citizens. The traffic rules should be more stringent and commuters must follow them at all costs. Signals and zebra crossings are meant to aid pedestrians, but if vehicles do not observe these basic rules, the situation is bound to be chaotic.

I also feel that hospitals and clinics should be spread all over the city, so that senior citizens have easy access to them. Camps and lectures on healthcare can be held for them, so that they have proper guidance on how to take care of themselves.
Rahel Kale, statistical analyst

Special buses for the elderly will help
Biakrempuia Renthlei
Facilities need to be improved drastically for senior citizens in Pune. I do not support old age homes, but there should be places where they can live in comfort. Medical services and free health check-ups should be provided. The elderly should also be given concessions in PMPML buses and in fact, there should be special buses in which only the aged can travel. These buses should not be restricted to just a few areas. We always look out for our parents and grandparents; in the same way, we should also respect other elderly people. Pune has become very fast-paced and we need to slow down for the older generation. They are an important part of society and cannot be forgotten in the race for development.
Biakrempuia Renthlei, student, standard X

Provisions should be made for their security
Mugdha Kulkarni
The PMC should make more parks and gardens in the city, so that senior citizens have open spaces to walk. Noise pollution is another problem that affects them. Noise limits must be prescribed for every zone, which should strictly be adhered to. A few years ago, the noise levels were not this high. Proper healthcare facilities have to be provided to senior citizens. Activities like yoga classes or laughter clubs need to be encouraged.
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The traffic problem has gone out of hand, but provisions should be made for the safety of senior citizens on roads. Nuclear families mean a rise in the number of people in old age homes. This is a sorry trend that should be reversed. In the recent past, crime against senior citizens has gone up alarmingly, so adequate security measures have to be in place for their safety.
Mugdha Kulkarni, student, standard IX

Service in banks should be elder-friendly
Sunmeeth Singh Choudhary
There are many changes that need to be brought about for senior citizens. It is sad to see the way they have to stand in long queues at banks and government offices. Pune is a good city, in the sense, it is vibrant and historic. The weather is also comfortable throughout the year. But with the rising pollution and haphazard development, the essence of the city has been lost. Pune is known as a haven for the elderly. However, I have seen people behaving rudely with senior citizens. The change that is required is in providing better medical facilities. Hospitals must provide free or affordable services to them. It is the government's responsibility to provide these.
Sunmeeth Singh Choudhary, president (Pune), All India Anti-Terrorist Front

Roads unsafe for senior pedestrians, drivers
Natasha Shirole
The way youngsters ride their bikes, it becomes almost impossible for anyone to walk. For senior citizens, the task is even more difficult. Many senior citizens also ride and drive on the roads and that can be a harrowing experience for them. Youngsters are always in a hurry, ride rashly, honk frequently and that can scare fellow commuters. It is extremely tough for the aged to move around in such conditions. The younger lot needs to pay heed to the fact that there are other people on the road. Pune used to be a pensioner's paradise, but it is getting difficult for old people to live here. I also feel that the city should have more parks and gardens where senior citizens can spend time and walk in peace. There is a group of senior citizens that goes up to the Law College tekdi to water plants every day. Activities like these should be highlighted.
Natasha Shirole, student, standard X
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