The Bold Voice of J&K

Govt to sustain all programmes for elderly, ensure pension

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pension elderNew Delhi’: With the number of aged persons in India projected to increase from 103.8 million now to 173.2 million by 2026, government is trying to formulate a suitable policy framework to meet the challenge it will pose in socio-economic and public health spheres.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to address the issue of the elderly and the Ministry will not only sustain the programmes that are being implemented across the country for the elderly but will also ensure pension for the elderly,” Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot said today.

He said the government has been making constant efforts to formulate a suitable policy framework, action plan and effective implementation to enable its people, their family and the society at large to face these challenges and also to harness the beneficial effect of the demographic change
He was speaking at the inauguration of the two-day National Conference on ‘Elderly: Dignity, Health and Security’ organised by the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Population Research Centre (PRC).

The Minister assured all stakeholders present that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will take on board all the recommendations and suggestions made at the Conference and ensure their implementation.

Gehlot apprised the gathering that at present about 65 per cent of the population is below 40 years, and 20 years down, the percentage of the elderly is to going to increase many fold.

“The number of aged persons in India now is 103.8 million and its is projected to increase to 173.2 million by 2026.

“We will also strengthen convergence with all key social sector ministries-such as Health and Family Welfare, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and the Census Commission to name a few to ensure a coordinated response on the multiple challenges we are facing,” he stated.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to address the issue of the elderly and the Ministry will not only sustain the programmes that are being implemented across the country for the elderly but will also ensure pension for the elderly,” he said.

Under the Integrated Programme for Elderly Persons which is a planned scheme of the government, financial assistance is being given to non-governmental, voluntary organisations and panchayati raj institutions for running of old age homes and respite care homes for the elderly, he said.

The key areas identified for more focused deliberation at the conference were social security, health, women and ageing and special initiatives mounted by state government to reduce the vulnerability of the elderly.

Pointing out the challenges posed by the rising numbers of the elderly, Sudhir Bhargava, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, stressed on the quality of preparedness to cope with the complex set of problems posed by the population which is above 80 years of age.

“We estimate that we will need 10 million caregivers to address the needs of this population and a massive training programme to create competent human resource is a vital area that we need to collectively address,” he emphasised.

PTI

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