1st August, 2011
Shri.N.Kiran Kumar Reddy,
Hon. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh,
‘C’ Block, A.P. Secretariat,
Hyderabad – 500 003
Sub:- Submission of Memorandum from Senior Citizens of Andhra Pradesh for Redressal of grievances
We are a confederation of Senior Citizen Welfare Associations of all the districts in Andhra
Pradesh having a network.and are a registered body.We work exclusively for the welfare and wellbeing of Senior citizens of our State and we are affiliated to the All India Senior Citizens Condederation, Mumbai.
We appreciate the good gesture of the Government of Andhra Pradesh for adopting the National Policy of older persons known as N.P.O.P formulated by Government of India in 1999 and making efforts to implement it. The Andhra Pradesh State Government have also published a State Plan of action on the above policy in the year 2004.
Though the plan of action of the Government generated feelings of happiness among the senior citizens of the State, its implementation continued to be very slow and on some issues very pathetic . We are submitting this memorandum on behalf of over 60 lakhs of Senior Citizens particularly the indigent ones in the State. We are only requesting the Government to implement what was alreadyaccepted in principle by the Government and no fresh demands are put up.
The issues that are causing hardships to the elders or as follows:
. ABSENCE OF INSURANCE COVERAGE TO THE MIDDLE CLASS SENIOR CITIZENS (above BPL, but below tax liability):- Clause (m) of page 31 of A.P. State Plan of Action says “develop health insurance package covering different income segments (of senior citizens). Packages catering to low income groups will be entitled to State Subsidy” The citizens of Andhra Pradesh are fortunate to have the unique health scheme of AROGYASREE, but the senior citizens above the BPL group are denied of this scheme. About 90% of the families in the state (inclusive of senior citizens as well as journalists) are already covered under AROGYASREE or other health insurance. And pensioners are covered by reimbursement.Only the remaining 10% are left out, In the absence of such coverage senior citizens of this segment are dropping in to the BPL category, because of the exhorbitant cost of medical care which they cannot afford in this inflationary economy. This facility was requested in our earlier representations also to the C.M and Minister of Health,of Government of A. but did not get any response.We earnestly request that AROGYASREE may be extended to this catergory and if need be a part of the premium may be charged to them.
2. OLD AGE PENSIONS:- We are grateful to the Government for implementing the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, but the distressing fact is that the Government is paying only Rs.200/- for the Senior Citizen and his spouse. It is so inadequate in the present context that with this pension they could procure food for only for one day in a month and for the rest of the days they are to the mercy of God or others. We learn that, even this amount is paid by the Government of India.We again would like to bring to your notice that the A.P State Plan of Action, Page 31 says “revision of rate of monthly pension so as to take care of Inflationary trends” It mayalso not be out of place to mention that the Government of Tamil Nadu is paying Rs.1000/- and several other states are paying between Rs500 to Rs.1000 as old age pension.We therefore pray that the pension may be increased to Rs500 per person so that the poor elders may have at least one meal a day.Further the Govt of India have announced the age to be eligible for a senior
Citizen as 60 years instead of 65.Similar instructions reducing the age of eligibility for senior citizens from 65 to 60 years may please be issued in our state also.
3. CONCESSIONS IN RTC BUSES:-
a. Page 33 point 1 under RTC buses of A.P State Plan of Action says. quote “provide fare concessions to senior citizens in buses” We have been requesting for long on this issue, but nothing is granted so far either by the Government of Andhra Pradesh or R.T.C. In India, at least 10 States are granting concession ranging from 25% to 100% to senior citizens in State Buses. We therefore request that maximum possible concession in R.T.C may be granted, so that the senior citizens (poor) who travel only out of necessity for medical treatment, religious or other ceremonies and not for holidaying.
b. AMENITIES IN BUSES:- At present only 3 seats are reserved in buses which is inadequate as it is often seen that elders of age 70 – 80 are also obliged to stand. Atleast 6 seats may be reserved and if they remain vacant others are in any case occupying them.
c. In buses, steps are too high and they should be suitably modified to facilitate boarding.
4. NON / INEFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF SENIOR CITIZENS WELFARE ACT, 2007:
It is gratifying that the Government of Andhra Pradesh have promptly notified the above Act which to a large extent benefits those senior citizens neglected by their children. From the number of cases registered in the Tribunals and awards given (for maintenance allowance) in the Districts, it can be seen that in most of the Districts, the number is either NIL or extremely poor. This shows that either the Act is not implemented at all or not implemented effectively. It is learnt that the issue of G.O containing the Rules for implementation is pending for more than two years and due to the absence of which the Act is not implemented properly, As this act helps the neglected parents to have sustenance, urgent action is prayed for immediate and effective implementation of the Act.
5. AMENITIES IN PUBLIC PLACES:-
a. It is a common sight that senior citizens are made to stand for a long time in the Q at e.seva centers, bus counters, ration shops, banks, govt or quasi govt organized programmes, other bill paying counters, etc., we request that suitable instructions be issued to all the officials concerned to have a separate counters / Q for senior citizens or atleast give a privilege to elders to bye pass the Q, so that they may not physically suffer for long time for getting the work done.
b. Similarly posters or other appropriate bill boards may be arranged at all Government and Quasi Government organizations urging the people to “respect the elders” “Help the Elders” etc., and create public awareness of their responsibility towards elderly.
6. :Last but not the least but actually the most important issue is
FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL PLAN OF OLDER PERSONS:- There are several provisions in the above plan formulated by the Government of India and generously adopted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, as early as 2004. We pray that what all has been said in the above plan may be implemented in letter and spirit, for which we the senior citizens of A.P., (amounting to 9% of the population, 15% of the voters and 25% of the potential and effective voters) will remain ever grateful to the Government and to the present generation
Thanking you and eagerly expecting a favourable response to our request.
V.Nageswara Rao Prof.V.Visweswariah Ch.Parameswara Reddy,
Secretary General Associate President President