Express News Service Last Updated : 15 Aug 2011 09:16:31 AM IST
CHENNAI: Benefits are not reaching the aged living Below Poverty Line
(BPL) as it is meant to be, due to the intervention of local
politicos, alleged Federation of Senior Citizens' Associations of
The association conducted a symposium on Social Security for Elders in
Chennai on Sunday. Representatives of various senior citizens' and
pensioners' organisations expressed their opinions on creating a
conducive environment for the aged as they now face several problems
All the speakers emphasised on issues pertaining to income security,
health security and other benefits for the aged who come under BPL.
The representatives urged the government to implement the National
Policy on Senior Citizens immediately.
"Social security for the old people is very important. They constitute
10 per cent of the total population, but 80 per cent of them come
under BPL. Among all, financial security is the most important. Most
of the senior citizens retired from their jobs 20 or 30 years ago and
they have been getting very less money as pension while prices are
soaring everywhere. We are living in a high cost economy era and
hence, the financial assistance should be given accordingly," said RN
Mittal, President of All India Senior Citizens' Confederation.
KR Gangadharan, Regional Vice President (Asia) of International
Federation on Ageing, said, "The government should ensure that all the
aged people get food, shelter, health care and such other benefits.
Local politicos and the family members' interventions have resulted in
no benefits reaching them though the central and the state governments
have various schemes for the elderly. This 'elder abuse' is increasing
He added that the condition of poor, aged people was more pitiable.
"Poorest among the poor are senior citizens," he said.
"The cases of rape against old women have been on the increase in our
country these days as the women are frail and cannot fight away the
rapists. These incidents are happening more in African countries. At
present, aged women are being trained in martial arts in some African
countries. The aged are being discriminated against in many ways. It
is high time that awareness on the senior citizens' problems are
spread among people," Gangadharan added.
S Muthukumaran, Former VC of Bharathidasan University, and D
Rajaseharan, President of FOSCATAN, were present at the event.