Concerns of elderly women should be addressed, says Mukul Wasnik
New Delhi, Mar 2 : Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul
Wasnik called for a thorough review of the National Policy on Older
Persons immediately to incorporate the growing concerns of the elderly
women into the next 12th five year plan allowing them to live a life
"The policy formulated in 1999 called for an urgent review which is
underway as the growing population of the old needed to be looked
after better," Mr Wasnik said at a consultation on "Empowering Ageing
and older women: Health, social and financial security concerns",
organised by the Guild For Service here.
"We want to push forward the various concerns of the senior citizens
which will not only fulfill their aspirations but enable all to
perform our responsibilities towards them more meaningfully," he said
at the gathering which also honoured eminent women achievers, all of
them now over 80.
National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Girija Vyas said it
was necessary to ensure social status for the elderly women that was
increasingly eroding as they aged. Most were thrust on the sidelines,
neglected and deprived. If not cast outside, they were forced to live
a life of humiliation despite having all their property and assets
which were mostly snatched away from them through deceit and fraud by
The sacrificing nature of women made them give up readily and worse,
remain silent, despite the suffering. However, things appeared to be
changing a bit now with more women ready to speak up and act.
Ms Vyas said their empowerement was therefore all the more necessary
for which the NCW intended to sign an MOU with the Guild for Service
to better the lot of these senior women through promoting the health,
well-being and independence of senior citizens around the country.
Among the women achievers felicitated on the occasion were Justice
(rtd.) Leila Seth, Ms Vidyaben Shah, Begum Habibullah, Ms Zohra
Sehgal, Ms Bhikoo Manekshaw and Ms Subhadra Butalia.
Former chairperson of NCW and Guild of Service Head Mohini Giri, who
is also chairperson of the review committee of National Policy for the
older persons said having experienced the pain and trauma of the
elderly said, during her deliberations, she was convinced of the need
for a mechanism like a department of welfare for elderly. It would
help to better understand and resolve the concerns towards their
financial, healthcare, shelter and welfare needs, she added.
Observation 1: Minister himself says elderly women's concerns should
be addressed. By whom, I wonder!
Observation2: Among the women felicitated, there is none from South?
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