Express News Service Tags : protest, press conference Posted: Sun Aug
08 2010, 05:53 hrs Chandigarh:
Several serious attempts to get the Central and state government to
address welfare concerns of senior citizens have failed to yield
desired results. Even as the nation observes its Independence Day, it
is necessary that its citizens should be made aware that a large
segment of senior citizens, who struggled hard to win freedom is
languishing in misery, uncared, insecure and forgotten.
Brig Keshav Chandra (Retd) president of the Chandigarh Senior
Citizens' Association while addressing a press conference highlighted
the problems senior citizens of the country were facing. The
association would be observing a protest day on August 16 as part of a
nationwide call. Senior citizens in the city will participate in this
silent march in Sector 17.
Brig Chandra said the Union government brought out a landmark document
called "National Policy For Older Persons"(NPOP) as early as 1999 and
passed an act entitled "The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and
Senior Citizens' Act"(MWPSC) in 2007.The policy covered the areas of
financial security, health care, nutrition, social welfare, protection
of life and property of senior citizens and made out meticulous action
plan for implementation and monitoring, but even after 11 years, 28
states and UT have not responded to the NPO document. The state
goverment have also remained indifferent to implementing the MWPSC
act. Only three states out of 35 states/UT's have operationalised it,
though three years have passed since it was enacted by the parliament.
Even the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme has been
implemented by only a few states and as of now about 50% of eligible
poor are still not covered by the above scheme.