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Dil ki baat

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Dil Ki Baat from Shehjaar Homes for Senior Citizens

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Dil ki baat

  1. 1. Hamare Dil Ki Baat on 15th June “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” Most respected Pradhan Mantri Ji and friends, Namaskar We, the senior citizens from Shehjaar Homes, Senior Citizen Forum Haridwar & All India Senior Citizen Confederation (AISCCON) having membership of over 20 lakhs across the country, want to bring to your kind notice the status and the feelings of 16 crore senior citizens of this country. National concern for welfare of senior citizens in India Our Prime Minister has been working very hard for all these years for the welfare of the citizens of the country. We are proud to have such a dynamic leader. However, the senior citizens feel to have been left out untouched and uncared except for some ornamental initiatives here and there. This appears to be due to indifferent attitude of the Government of India as well as the society at large towards senior citizens. National Policy on Older Persons 1999 Our visionary leader, Sh. Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister, had come out with a very well-defined policy for senior citizens in 1999. The Policy declared elderly as a huge reserve of human resource and assured the Elderly that their concerns are national concerns and they will not live unprotected, ignored or marginalized. The policy further assured Elderly that the last phase of their life will be with purpose, dignity and peace. However, the policy was never implemented and no concrete action plan was drawn, except that a legislation to prevent the abuse of Elderly was brought up by the UPA Government in the form of ‘Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act 2007’. This act provided the mechanism for maintenance for the abused Elderly, Medical Care, Protection of their Life and Property & also for establishment of at least one old age home in each district to accommodate at least 150 indigent senior citizens. However, it took more than 8 years for States to just promulgate this Act in entire form across the country, due to lack of monitoring from the Centre and halfhearted approach by the States. There has been very little progress on the implementation of various provisions of this Act even after 12 years. The Government of India has proposed certain changes and the bill to amend this Act was introduced in Lok-Sabha in August 2019. Our submission is that necessary provisions may be made in the bill for a time bound implementation of the Amended Act in the states with necessary monitoring mechanism by the Centre and the States.
  2. 2. Revision of the ‘National Policy on Older Persons’ Considering the demographic changes since 1999 and the present social realities, the Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, in the year 2014, announced in Parliament that the revised Policy will be released by 2016 .It is, however, still awaited and needs immediate attention of GOI. Companies Act 2013 and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) As per the act 2% of the corporate profits are required to be spent on CSR. A huge amount of over Rs. 60,000 Cr has been spent on CSR till March2020, but the spending on welfare of senior citizens is almost negligible. We request that a reasonable percentage of CSR funds be allocated for Senior Citizens welfare in proportion to the percentage of their population. Pension under EPS 95 Lakhs of retired persons from Public & Private Sector, having worked for 20 to 35 years are struggling to be heard for their legitimate pension under EPS 95. The reduction in interest rates in the Govt. Schemes has further added to their sufferings as they were depending mostly on interest for their livelihood. Honorable Prime Minister may kindly intervene in resolving the EPS95 Pension issue which is pending for a very long time. Further the interest rates for Senior Citizens may be revised to realistic requirement. Sir, there are many urgent complex issues of this segment of population. Elderly women are living under pathetic conditions in the deserted villages of the hills like in Uttarakhand. Covid-19 has taught us that attention of health care for Elderly, who are most vulnerable, is required to be planned and implemented failing which, we may have to incur a heavy cost on health care. Any negligence may result in wiping out millions of people including productive population. Independent Ministry at Center and in the states for welfare of elderly Looking at the growing population of this segment from current 12% to 20% by 2050, we request that there should be separate Ministry at Center as well as at State level, to take care of them. This ministry should function under PMO as this Ministry will require support from various other Ministries for effective implementation of urgent issues such as universal pension/financial security, health care, protection of life and property, shelter, active and productive ageing etc.
  3. 3. Development of Haridwar as a destination for a peaceful living for Senior Citizens Considering that a large number of senior citizens, from across the country and abroad are craving to spend golden period of their lives at Haridwar it is worth considering to develop Haridwar as destination town for peaceful living of seniors and also for developing training institutes for developing the care givers for the elderly. Suitable infrastructure needs to be developed by the Central & State Govt. and also by Corporates under CSR. The town may please be developed as global bench mark taking care of the basic needs of elderly from various segments of the society. Developing such an eco-system could be a socially useful initiative and if found successful could be replicated in other holy cities too. Sir, we senior citizens at Haridwar, have committed ourselves to improve the awareness at the ground level and increase the number of sustainable initiatives for improving the quality of life of senior citizens by establishing Day Centers, Physiotherapy Centers, Help- Lines and conducting national level conferences involving all stake holders. We are working for creating opportunities for active, creative and satisfying life of elderly. We feel very much indebted to the society and consider that serving the Elderly is our prime responsibility at this stage of life. The issues raised by us should also concern you all irrespective of your stage of life. You all have to pass through this stage. We request for your attention to this phase of life, right from now. We have started a movement “FOR SENIOR CITIZENS” and invite you to join hands with us for this noble cause. Our contacts are: shehjaarhomes@gmail.com seniorcitizenforumharidwar@gmail.com We are grateful to our Honorable Prime Minister and our fellow Citizens for sparing time and giving us a patient hearing on this 15th June, 2020. Jai Hind! (MK Raina) (Sarvesh Gupta) (Suresh Palgay) All India Senior Citizen Confederation Senior Citizen Forum Haridwar Shehjaar Homes Mob 9760002072 Mob 9759008400 Mob 9837889942

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