Monday, October 1, 2012

Vayosherestha Samman 2012

Vayoshrestha Samman, 2012

Shri Mukul Wasnik, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment and Shri
Sushil Kumar Shinde, Minister for Home Minister conferred
"Vayoshrestha Samman 2012 – National Awards for Senior Citizens at
Vigyan Bhavan today.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Mukul Wasnik said, "On
14thDecember 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated 1st
October as International Day of Older Persons. This day is a very
special day for our Ministry as Senior citizens are one of the most
important part of our community. We take great pleasure in organizing
this function, to honour eminent senior citizens and institutions
working for the cause of the elderly. This year, keeping in view the
increasing safety and security problems that are being faced by our
senior citizens, our ministry identified "Security for Senior
Citizens" as the theme for International Day of Older Persons, 2012,
which include physical, financial ,emotional and other securities. And
we are fortunate to have the Hon'ble Union Home Minister with us today
who would enlighten us about the various measures being taken and
proposed to be taken for the safety and security of the senior

Vayoshreshtha Samman is a humble recognition of the relentless
strivings and inspiring achievements of our eminent senior citizens
and Institutions who are working for the cause of elderly. It is
indeed a moment of great pride for me as we have assembled here today
to honour some of the exemplary senior citizens and institutions of
our country who have re-defined the meaning of self-realization.

As you may be knowing, a demographic revolution is underway throughout
the world. Today, world-wide, there are around 600 million persons
aged 60 years and over; this total will double by 2025. In our fast
ageing world, older people will increasingly play a critical role -
through transmitting experience and knowledge, volunteer work, helping
their families with caring responsibilities and increasing their
participation in the work force. Such contributions to development can
only be ensured if senior citizens enjoy security and adequate levels
of health and we all need to equip ourselves to meet these demanding

Our Ministry has put in place the National Policy on Older Persons
(NPOP) with a view to address the various issues relating to ageing in
a comprehensive manner. I would like to share with you that keeping in
view of the changing demographic pattern and socio-economic changes,
our Ministry is in advance stage of formulating a new National Policy,
which is expected to address the concerns of the elderly, with a view
to helping them live a productive and dignified life.

Our Ministry is implementing a grant-in-aid Scheme of Integrated
Programme for Older Persons (IPOP). Under the scheme financial
assistance is provided to voluntary organizations for running and
maintenance of various projects such as old age homes, day care
centres, physiotherapy clinics, regional resource and training
centres, etc. Keeping in view the rising cost of living, our Ministry
is considering the revision of cost norms of these various projects.

To develop a frontline cadre of caregivers to ensure quality care at
home for the elderly, National Institute of Social Defence, an
autonomous body under our Ministry has been conducting a number of
training courses on Geriatric Care. To address the healthcare problems
of the senior citizens, the Government has introduced the National
Programme for Health Care for Elderly (NPHCE) starting from the year
2010-11 with a basic aim to provide separate and specialized
comprehensive health care to the senior citizens. Besides, the
Government has introduced various facilities and concessions for the
senior citizens such as old age pension, income tax rebate, concession
in rail and air fare, higher interest rates in deposits, etc.

On legislation front, enactment of The Maintenance and Welfare of
Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 is a major milestone in this
direction. However, it is very unfortunate that the implementation of
the Act across the country has been unsatisfactory. We therefore, need
to join hands together to ensure that this important piece of
legislation is implemented in the right spirit.

But much more than this, what our senior citizens require is a sense
of belongingness, sense of being part of the family and a little
warmth. We must remember the wrinkles on their faces are because of
the hard work they have done so that we, the next generation is able
to live a better life. It is now our responsibility to help them lead
a meaningful and healthy life. These inter-generational bondings are
the need of the hour.

On this day, on behalf of the Government, we reaffirm our commitment
to make India safe for senior citizens. I would also request you all
to help those elderly who are less fortunate and do not have family or
adequate resources by extending the support of caring communities.

I once again congratulate all the Vayoshreshtha Samman 2012 awardees
and I wish you would keep inspiring us for many more years to come. I
also take this opportunity to congratulate NISD, officers of the
Ministry, NGOs and all of you who have come together to make this
programme a memorable one.

Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde, Minister for Home Affairs congratulated the
awardees and said the Ministry of Home Affairs issued advisory to
State Governments to ensure the life and property of senior citizens
is fully protected. The advisory includes - direction to Police
departments to pay special attention to security to the life and
property of older persons and keeping a friendly vigil; identification
of pockets inhibited by older persons; persons visit to the homes of
the older persons; setting up of helpline for the welfare of older
persons etc.

The Vayosreshtha Samman is given by the Ministry of Social Justice and
Empowerment each year to recognize the exemplary contribution of
senior citizens in various fields and outstanding institutions working
for the welfare of the elderly. Vayosreshtha Samman 2012 Awards were
conferred by Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde and Shri Mukul Wasnik to the

Institution Award for Knowledge: All India Senior Citizens
Confederation, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Institution Award for Services: Yanam old Age Home, Pudducherry; All
Manipur Senior Citizens Welfare Association Imphal (Manipur)

Best Panchayat Award: Pulamanthol Gram Panchayat, Mallapuram, Kerala

Individual Awards

Centenarian Award: Dr. Shanti Giridhar Lal, Mumbai

Best Mother Award: Smt. Shefali Chaudhary, Kolkata (Posthumously)

Life Time Achievement Award: Shri M. M. Sabharwal, New Delhi

Creative Art Award: Shri Agni Kumar Acharjee, Agartala, Tripura

Sportsman Award: Smt. Prakash Tomar, Bagpat, U.P.; Smt. Chandro Tomar,
Bagpat, U.P.

A series of posters and a book titled " Age Care India – National
Initiative on care for elderly" were released on the occasion.

Shri Anil Goswami, Secretary, SJE, Shri Anoop Kumar Srivastava,
Additional Secretary, SJE, Shri T. R. Meena, Joint Secretary,SJE, and
Officials from the Ministry and National Institute of Social Defence,
Representatives of senior citizens associations were present on the


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