Desire to age with dignity requires elderly care
Mahadeep Singh Jamwal
Rapid urbanisation has overtaken the traditional value-system of our people and shifted their socio-economic priorities. Sons and daughters find no time for the senior citizens in their family. The elderly, who have provided their services and support, feel unloved and neglected at this phase of their life. Their deteriorating physical health and other geriatric illness add to their difficulties. Their often poor financial condition, lack of affordable health care and the general neglect by the society has propelled many NGOs to step in and bring in elder welfare programmers and advocate for elder friendly policies. Some of the NGOs prevalent in India and located in various cities are as under:
* All India Senior Citizens’ Confederation (AISCCON) operating from Mumbai is the largest national organization brings together and represents senior citizens across India. It has Federations/ Associations affiliated to it from 14 states in India.
* The Federation of Senior Citizens Organisation of Maharashtra (FESCOM) is working for the welfare of society in general and senior citizens in particular.
* Help Age India is a leading Non-Profit Organisation in India caring for disadvantaged elderly senior citizens and raising resources to protect the rights of India’s elderly and provide relief to them through various interventions.
* Dignity Foundation operating from Mumbai for the cause and care of the elderly persons and is running day care center and Old Age Homes.
* Harmony for Silvers Foundation is the concern of Tina Ambani working to enhance the quality of life of elderly in India.
* Silver Inning Foundation is a social entrepreneur organisation working for cause of elders. It is also contributing towards creating Elder Friendly World where aging becomes a positive and rewarding experience.
In our State we have a fully fledged Social Welfare Department, as a citizen charter to develop a society which offers conducive and stimulating atmosphere for the growth and development, in a safe and protective environment, ensuring dignified life to all the vulnerable groups such as children, women, elderly people, and persons with disabilities, members of SC, ST and OBCs. For elderly it works in providing social security to elderly people. The main schemes are;
Integrated Social Security Scheme (ISSS) is a state sponsored scheme and under the scheme men above the age of 60yrs. And women above the age of 55 yrs are paid pension @ Rs. 200 pm including some other categories’.
o Under National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), the schemes applicable to provide monetary pensions to elderly are Indira Gandhi National Old Age pension Scheme (IGNOAPS), National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS), Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS), and Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS).
o Atal Pension Yojna launched by Narendra Modi government is one such scheme, which ensures old age pension to those who are not covered under any other pension scheme.
All measures under taken by government or NGOs are not enough to provide a solacing life to elders and we have to realize that elders is our force and guides to give a right direction owing to their experience of life.
Parting with, the inspirational message to world leaders and governments of Archbishop Desmond Tutu to ensure all ages are counted is “As we get older, our rights do not change. As we get older, we are no less human and should not become invisible”
There is a message from Clint Eastwood, an American actor, director, producer, composer, businessman and politician to the aging persons that “As we grow older, we must discipline ourselves to continue expanding, broadening, learning, keeping our minds active and open”. Who are responsible to take care of elders happened to be our parents, definitely it is the present generation and so on the cycle goes on.