Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Madurai American College Study of Older Persons

Sri VRV Rao has sent me a message stating the Tamil news was sent to SSS-Global instead of to me by mistake. I am giving below the English Translation on his behalf.
It is shocking to note that the Tamilnadu government is imposing restrictions on disbursement of OAP that are not a part of conditions in the original IGNOAPS. Senior citizens Associations in TN should take up immediately.

Elders suffering on World Elders Day: Is the government showing enough concern?

Even as World Elders Day is being observed throughout the nation, Senior citizens (in Tamil Nadu) are suffering due to the neglect of State Government with respect to health, hygiene and security of elders. Only in developed counties the number of senior citizens is big; but it is increasing in developing countries like India too. Family Planning is the reason. Now there is no more than one child per family. Longevity of persons has increased. Therefore older people are more and live longer. Now the life expectancy is 64 for men and 67 for women. When women become old they have to meet more problems (than men).

Tamilnadu stands foremost in India in urbanization. 60% t0 70% of the population live in villages rural areas . The government has not shown interest in public health. With the help of UGC funds, students of Social Work department from Madurai American College conducted a survey in 23 villages in Aranganallur, Madurai District. The problems of older persons and their mental health were studied. 1600 senior citizens were interviewed. Majority of the persons do not get pension. More than fifty percent are above 80. Some are even more than 100, it is learnt. They do not have (age proof) documents. As children are out of village elsewhere these older people are neglected. Even for the meager amount of pension they are forced to pay commission to postmen.

Charles Babu, Director (in charge) of Social welfare Department said about the study: To avail Old Age pension there are restrictions like: that there should no sons; that they should not possess any house etc. Even having a house many older persons are without any support. Similarly even when there are children, older people in poverty are in large number. As they can not earn they are below poverty line. Some people do not get pension properly. If this situation should change all senior citizens must be given pension. Government must take care of heath and hygiene of older people. Instead of observing World Elders Day (and showing lip sympathy) real concern and care must be shown.

Translated by Vyasamoorthy. Original Dinamalar 1/10/2010 Madurai Edition.

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