Port Blair, Oct. 2: ‘Ullas’ – an Old Age Home for Women established by the Directorate of Social Welfare, A&N Administration was inaugurated today by the Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Social Welfare, Ms Nandini Paliwal, IAS as chief guest. The function was attended by elderly womenfolk, Zilla Parishad, Adhyaksha, South Andaman, Smti. Pramila Kumari, Secretary (GA), Shri Binay Bhushan, IAS, Secretary-cum-Director (Social Welfare), Ms. Ranjana Deswal, field functionaries of Social Welfare Department – Anganwadi Workers and Officers / Staff of the Department.

Soon after the inauguration, the Commissioner-cum-Secretary inspected the facilities provided in this Old Age Home which includes spacious bedroom, toilets, recreation hall etc. and has a capacity to house 15 beneficiaries.

Addressing the gathering, the chief guest remarked that it’s a praiseworthy initiative by the Social Welfare Department in providing such a facility which will provide a perfect ambience for the elderly women to lead a dignified life. Social Welfare Department is close to my heart and I have seen the commitment of the workers in reaching out to the last mile population, she said. Describing Anganwadi workers as an important pillar of Social Welfare Department in reaching out to the masses and identifying the beneficiaries, the Commissioner-cum-Secretary stated that they are doing a commendable job. The Old Age Home is not just an institution, it should be maintained as a home where they can lead a peaceful and not secluded life, she said. She also mentioned that women are coming forward and are taking up difficult tasks and encouraged the Social Welfare Department which has large number of women Staff/Officers to continue the good work. Summing up her address, the Commissioner expressed the hope that the Old Age Home as the name suggests  will bring ‘Ullas’ (Happiness) in the life of old age women.

The Adhyaksha, Zilla Parishad stated that the social workers are doing a praiseworthy job whether during elections, COVID period and in identifying the beneficiaries for the umpteen number of schemes being implemented by Social Welfare Department. She expressed the hope that the Home will help in uplifting life of the elderly women.

Speaking on the occasion, the Secretary-cum-Director, Social Welfare, said that the Department is committed to provide care and protection for destitute and the elderly citizens. This facility has been created within a short span of time and establishing it near Ballika Niketan will help the children and the elderly women interact with each other and spend memorable moments.

Earlier, welcoming the gathering, the Probation Officer, Social Welfare, Shri A.K. Biswas stated that this is the first Old Age Home for Women established by the Department of Social Welfare and the beneficiaries are identified based on enquiries by the Department. The function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Smti. Uma Devi, Mukhya Sevika.