Senior citizens demand ‘National Commission for Aged’

Senior citizens demand ‘National Commission for Aged’

New Delhi: With welfare and protection of senior citizens becoming a major concern, the demand for setting up of a National Commission for Aged on the lines of National Commission for Women is gaining momentum.

A large group of elders came here all the way from remote parts of the country asking the government to set up a commission for them and demanded it to recognise older people as ‘a specific vulnerable group under national human rights and humanitarian law’.

The group submitted a 14 point memorandum to the government demanding, among others, equal access to gainful employment for those who are able and willing, healthcare, setting up of geriatric wards in hospitals and separate outpatient counters, health insurance schemes and simplified pension procedures.

HelpAge India, an organisation working for the welfare of the elderly, has also submitted a similar memorandum to Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal.

Apart from setting up of a National Commission for Aged, the organisation demanded the government to commit extending ‘right to development’ to older people by giving specific focus to the elderly in any of the national policies and programmes designed to combat poverty.

It also urged the government to issue multipurpose identity cards to the elderly and concessions in fare in the state transports besides launching of special programmes for the aged at panchayat level.