In any language seniors needs!

Chalo (march to)AZAD MAIDAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mumbai : ‘Senior Citizens National Protest Day’ 16th August- 2pm – 4pm. Come one ,Come All and support our Elderly.

It’s sad to note that NPOP was formulated in 1999, but till date it has not been implemented by Central Govt. / Pan India, due to various reasons including lack of political will. Various NGO’s and activist have been advocating its implementation and review. In this regards a ‘National Protest Day ‘is observed by all NGO’s, Senior Citizen associations/federation and Senior Citizens to press their demands on 16th August 2010.

During these 11 years the world has changed, there has been significant demography change in India’s population due globalization and improved medical facility and lifestyle. The fall of joint family system and rise in nuclear family system has brought new dimension to the care and welfare of Elderly. Population of people above 60 years of age is estimated to be 96 million in 2010.The Life span has increased by 60% in 60 yrs. India has today second largest population of Senior Citizens. There is sharp increase in population of Young Old 60yrs to 69 yrs and Old old 80+. Due to this demand and needs of various age groups have changed. Now it is time for civil society and government to rethink their strategy to address the needs of Senior Citizens.

After 63 years of Independence and democracy experiment there are segments of people who are not treated at par with others, there is injustice and discrimination towards them. One of the most neglected and ignored segment is of Senior Citizens. Elders are not considered as part of mainstream, there is unjust treatment to those who gain 60 years of age, and they are suddenly considered ‘Retired’, good for nothing. Government and Civil Society are not bothered of this experienced and skill group of people.

The Indian subcontinent boasts of our ‘Great Joint Family’ ‘The Traditional Family’ System where we used to respect, care and love our elders, our parents. Due to Globalization and New lifestyle there is increasing number of Abuse, Neglect and Abandon case with regards to Senior Citizens. The gradual Urbanization of Rural India is also a new trend to worry.

Over and above a Step Motherly treatment by Federal and State Government is making situation worse for our Elderly. There is ministry for Women, Children, Youth, Environment; there is National Commission for Minority, Women and Human Right etc but the 8% of Elderly are represented by the congested and overloaded Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) .Senior Citizens is only part of NICE in NISD of MSJE.

In a reply to one of the RTI application it was shocking to note that most of the ministry like Finance, Transport, Health, Education were not aware of NPOP, nor there was any concert plan. It is sad to note that still today there is NO uniformity of age for classification of senior citizens between different ministry and state government.

With regards to protection from Law and Social Security there has been no tough initiative. In December 2007 Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act was passed by central government but still it has been not implement by many states and also those state who have implement the act, the local government has not made serious effort to make Tribunals and address the problems. There is need for pan-india political and social will.

A Private and Public partnership can be one way to provide innovation services and products. Psycho and social problems of the elderly needs to be attended urgently.

World over the Concept of Community base services and Ageing in Place is now promoted. The Welfare State concept is loosing its grip as government around the World can’t afford the expense. UN has now accepted the fact the Traditional Family is the best place to Age and best place to provide Care for Aged.

The 13% huge, powerful and unrecognized segment of Senior Citizens voters can’t be left alone, they can’t be ignored. Political Parties has to include projects and programmes for the benefits of Elderly in their respective Manifesto. Government has to address the issues and problem of ever growing population of Elderly.

We request all stake holders including NGO’s, Academicians, Institutions,students and Senior Citizens themselves to come ahead an Protest against the neglect and abuse of Senior Citizens by central and state government. i

As India is Signatory to UN ‘Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002’ we hereby demand to implement/adopt all the principals of Madrid plan in NPOP.

Please remember that “Ageing is not ‘lost youth ‘but a new stage of opportunity and strength”.

Maharashtra and Indian government STOP neglect of our Elderly,give peace, security and dignity to Senior Citizens.

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