TNN 7 December 2009, 03:56am IST
KOLKATA: Senior citizens present at the annual convention of Indian
Association of Retired Persons (IARP) argued that India, where more
than 100 million people who are over 60 year old, should have a
separate and dedicated union ministry for them.
The programmes was held at Madhusudan Mancha on Sunday. More than
4,000 IARP members were present. Industrialist Harshabardhan Neotia
was the chief guest.
"The Union government has ignored our pleas for the last five years.
Now, National Association for Senior Citizens of India, the appellate
organization of senior citizen groups, has taken up this matter with
the government," said IARP's founder president Sishir Dutta, a
Countries like Japan, Mauritius and Australia have a separate ministry
for senior citizens. In India, however, the National Council of Older
Persons (NCOP) under the ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
looks after the welfare of senior citizens. "NCOP officials hardly do
their work effectively and hence our demand," alleged IARP secretary
IARP is also demanding an Universal Health Insurance and an Universal
Pension Scheme. "In the UK, coach rides are free from 11 am to 3.30 pm
for senior citizens. It's a recognition of the contribution of senior
citizens to society. Here, though, we had to ask everything from the
government," Dutta said.
TOI Kolkata 7th December 09