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