Saturday, August 13, 2011


Conclave to press for elders' demands today

In one of the biggest ever convention of Senior Citizens, at least 10,000 elderly people are likely to meet and press for their demands over various issues to the Government on Sunday at Talkatora Stadium. The various demands of the federation under the banner of Senior Citizens Federation of India would be raised during the meet. The conclave would be addressed by senior political leaders, including BJP president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and former Union Ministers Vijay Goel and Anant Kumar. The convention is likely to be attended by about 10,000 senior citizens and 105 senior citizens associations.

Former Union Minister and founder of the Senior Citizen Federation of India, Vijay Goel said, "The current pension of `1000 per month is not sufficient for senior citizens. In this period of spiraling costs a thousand rupees cannot take care of a person and want a serious effort towards the care of senior citizens." The National Policy for Older Persons (NPOP), 1999, declared financial security, healthcare and housing for senior citizens. It has not been implemented so far and across the country NGOs working in the area of elderly care welcome the policy and demanded its implementation.

The idea to form the organisation was mooted in 2008 in course of meeting of senior citizens, Goel told The Pioneer. The main demands of the federation would be formation of a National Commission for Senior Citizen, on the lines of National Commission for Women, National Commission for Minorities, etc. Establishment of recreation centre in all colonies and localities and granting free medical insurance for all the senior citizens above the age of 75 years. Monthly pension should be increased by `1,000 to `2,000 per month. The millions of rupees are lying unclaimed in banks, belonging to deceased senior citizen. It should be transferred to a corpus and used for their benefits are some of the demands and issues of the senior citizens.

In order to make the federation work in a more organised way, Goel and his team have been visiting parks and public places every morning for the last three months and conducting more than 100 informal meetings. "Due to these meetings, thousands of senior citizens filled up form and indicated their desire to join the federation. The Government facilities for them are almost non-existent. Therefore they need help and empathy and federation would work in that direction," Goel said.


From: V.RAGHAVENDRARAO of sss-global

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