INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR OLDER PERSONS
3rd October, 2022 Social Issues
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- The International Day of Older People is marked each year on 1st October.
- In 1990 the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decided to observe 1st October as the International Day of Older People.
- The objective of the day is to raise awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse.
Situation in India
- As per the census of 2011, the Population of senior citizens was approximately 10.38 crore or 8.6% of the total population in the country.
- The National Policy on Older Persons, 1999, mentioned that the State government should provide support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter, protection and other needs of older persons to improve the quality of their lives.
- The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment under the Umbrella Scheme of Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana is implementing various welfare schemes for improving the living standard of senior citizens.
Problems faced by Senior citizens
- Migration of working males and its Impact on Elderly.
- Loopholes in the Healthcare system
- Social disharmony
- Digital illiteracy
- Increase in life expectancy, Feminization of Ageing
- Income insecurity, lack of adequate access to quality health care, Isolation.
- The disintegration of a joint family system, feeling of isolation, and Non-availability of caregivers.
- Elderly women mainly widows are vulnerable with no income, no assets & full financial dependence.
Welfare schemes for senior citizens
- Integrated Programme for Senior Citizens (IPSrC) under which grants in aid are given to Registered Societies/ Panchayati Raj Institutions/Local bodies/ Non-Governmental/Voluntary Organizations for running and maintaining Senior Citizens Homes/Care Homes, Mobile Medicare Units etc.
- Each State/UT is expected to plan its own State Action Plans for the welfare of senior citizens.
- The State Action Plan may comprise a long-term strategy for five years as well as Annual Action Plans.
- Department of Social Justice and Empowerment releases funds to the States/UTs for formulation and implementation of their State Action Plans.
- Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY)
- It is a Central Sector Scheme funded by the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund.
- Under the Scheme, aids and assistive living devices are provided to senior citizens belonging to the BPL category or those senior citizens who earn less than 15000/- per month and suffer from age-related disabilities such as low vision, hearing impairment, and loss of teeth and locomotor disabilities.
- The aids and assistive devices are provided to eligible beneficiaries, free of cost.
- The Scheme is being implemented by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) which is a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- Livelihood and Skilling Initiatives for Senior Citizens
- It aims to supplement the efforts of senior citizens by providing them opportunities to enhance their earnings and sense of self-respect.
- Senior Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED) portal allows the Senior Citizens a platform to connect with private enterprises for certain positions.
- Promoting Silver Economy
- To find innovative solutions for the commonly faced problems by Senior Citizens.
- Innovative start-ups will be identified and encouraged for developing products, processes and services for the welfare of the elderly under this initiative.
- The selected start-ups/start-up ideas can be provided equity support of up to Rs.1 crore per project while ensuring that the total Government equity in the start-up should not exceed 49%.
- Channelizing CSR funds for Elderly care:
- This initiative is to channel the CSR funds for elderly care
- The Ministry has set up the National Helpline for Senior Citizens to address the grievance of the elders.
- Vayoshreshtha Samman- A Scheme of National Award for Senior Citizens
- National Award for Senior Citizens ‘Vayoshreshtha Sammans’ is conferred to eminent and outstanding institutions or organizations and individuals from different categories.
- Ensure the Inclusion of target beneficiaries.
- Establish an autonomous National Social Security organization.
- Develop a social security investment plan with innovative financing mechanisms.
- Focus on public awareness.
- Consider Universal Health Coverage as part of social security.
- Bring Legislative and legal reforms.
- Establish a code on social security and welfare.
- Adopt the Assam model at the National level: Assam Employees PRANAM Act, under which each government employee is, compelled to Contribute 10% of his/her Salary towards taking Care of his/her parents.
- Since Independence, Life expectancy has shown considerable improvement. But these added years are dominated by declines in physical and mental capacities. Therefore, the need of the hour is to take an integrative approach to align the needs of the elderly as well as older adults in programmes and policies.