Senior citizens of Panchkula organised a press meeting Friday to call out the district administration on their “hypocrisy”, questioning the “duplicity” in implementation of SOPs and guidelines regarding Covid norms.
The Senior Citizen Council of Panchkula, which was denied permission to hold a 10-member round table meeting with resident welfare association (RWA) heads of the city regarding some key matters, has questioned the permissions granted for religious congregations being held at temples and gurdwaras along as well as political gatherings being allowed in the district.
“Why are political meetings, huge press briefs by police, religious congregations in the country and district being allowed but the senior citizens — all of whom are vaccinated — cannot hold a meeting regardig our living conditions?” asked president of the council R K Malhotra.
The council has further stated that while they are ready to follow the strictest of norms, the same “should be implemented in selection on parts of society that are easy to be targeted, and administration should lead by example.”
The council has also expressed concern for “the pain of loneliness” faced by senior citizens of the city who had remained under “confinement” for all of last year due to the SOPs issued by the government. “Now when all is open with certain guidelines but no check, permission to continue activities at the council premises is not being accorded. The council in its various representations has undertaken to abide by all laid down guidelines,” they said.
“The council has put forth three just demands which need to be paid heed to by the district administration,” said Malhotra.
They have asked that senior citizens be allowed council activities as are being allowed to all else. Secondly, they have asked that a lockdown not take place as “the World Bank has recorded 75 million job losses in the country”.
They also said that the government as well as the administration needs to implement the rules seriously and strictly. “We are recording more than 2 lakh cases. The government has made guidelines but it is also their job to implement them. Ye sarkaar ka kaam hai, vo chaahe to kar sakti hai (this is the government’s job, it can do it if it wants to). Our officers need to wake up from their slumber and actually ensure social distancing and masking up of people,” said Malhotra.
The council has also said “nobody should be required to take permissions for performing last rites of their loved ones. An online intimation must be the norm”.
Malhotra further said, “An online intimation should be enough for the administration to ensure that rules are being followed. They can visit and check by themselves…”