A mayor in northern Italy has reportedly appointed a loneliness councillor after getting overwhelming requests from residents who are struggling to cope with the issue. Antonella Argenti was elected as mayor of Villa del Conte, a small town in the Padua province, in May last year and got numerous calls from residents who wanted to discuss their problems.
Speaking to an Italian daily, Argenti said that many people came to see her across age groups to discuss their problems. She added that young and old, men and women, all of them complained about loneliness and essentially had the same issue – the lack of a support network.
Argenti is of the opinion that people are becoming living robots who are alone with their phone to take care of bills or while waiting on an automated switchboard that refers to another recorded voice, international media reported. She said that relationships are missing and bureaucracy has become dehumanised.
The mayor appointed Graziella Vigri as the loneliness councillor who has earlier worked as social policies councillor. As per reports, Vigri said that many citizens feel abandoned and almost a thousand residents of Villa del Conte wanted to meet the mayor personally. People without family face difficulty while paying bills, daily needs shopping, and medical visits.
Officials at the town hall have been reportedly told to give the personal contact numbers to any citizen who calls seeking help. Vigri said that the callers will be able to get an appointment in the office to talk and explain their problems and will find human contact.
Netizens hailed the new initiative taken by the mayor and congratulated her on social media platforms. “Maybe there will be more women managers..and especially in command places...We would talk with more facts.. proud to have given you the vote,” commented a user. “As Chaplain of the hospital of Cittadella in Duomo, I agree that loneliness is the new outbreak,” wrote another user.