SAVE SENIOR CITIZENS AND NOW TIME TO PROTECT THEIR FINANCIAL AND HEALTH NEEDS IN INDIA
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NARENDRA MODI JI,
PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
Respected Prime Minister Sir
While thanking you for the support being extended by your kind selves we would like to bring to your kind notice very important issue with regard to SENIOR CITIZENS IN INDIA AND THEIR FINANCIAL AND HEALTH NEEDS which required proper direction from your end.
The number of Indians over the age of 60 has hit an all-time high, accounting for 8.6 per cent of the country’s 121-crore population, according to latest official figures. A report released by the Ministry of Statistics said that the number of citizens over the age of 60 jumped 35.5 per cent — from 7.6 crore in 2001 to 10.3 crore in 2011.
Somehow this significant statistic has escaped important scrutiny and we would like to therefore kindly bring this to your notice, along with a list of re commendatory suggestions that can help to alleviate the condition of this vulnerable section of society.
A senior citizen’s life in the margins of society is mostly unsung and unheard, and in many cases uncared for. After having contributed the major part of their life for the development of the society, it is cruel and heartless to leave them to fend for themselves in the evening of their life. Their financial position will be greatly affected by present economic reforms and regulations and senior citizens required flexible, UN fixed, secured scheme from Government of India to protect financial needs and health needs. Lic Varista yojana is very good policy initiated by government but it is 10 years lack and restriction on premature withdrawal are main disadvantage of the scheme
As a Government most sensitive to the needs of the poor and the country at large, we have utmost confidence in you, our Hon’ble Prime Minister who is serving the country with distinction as the Pradhan Sevak. We seek your kind and benevolent indulgence and fervently hope that our suggestions given on behalf of crores of Senior Citizens of India merit your kind attention and approval.
The blessings of crores of our Senior Citizens will be upon you – and our country – for a favorable decision from your kind self, Sir.
Thanking you Sir and May God give you all the strength to serve our country,
CHAIRMAN SAMSKAR FOUNDATION
BHARATHIYA JANATHA PARTY TIRUPATI
Senior Citizens are a treasure to our society. They have worked hard all these years for the development of the nation as well as the community. They possess a vast experience in different walks of life. The youth of today can gain from the experience of the senior citizens in taking the nation to greater heights. At this age of their life, they need to be taken care of and made to feel special.
Ageing is quite common and everybody’s problem as everyone is bound to age and experience. Ageing is a fact of life which does not take place all of a sudden. The elderly are like the setting sun that retreats into the night after life giving, light during the day. Aging is normal and natural. It is a stage ridden with so many problems each and every day of life. Very few people reach old age completely free of diseases. Senior citizens across the globe are not getting the proper care and support they need because governments and the society are not aware of their problem.
There are 81million older people in India-11 lakh in Delhi itself. A man's life is normally divided into five main stages namely infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. In each of these stages an individual has to find himself in different situations and face different problems. The old age is not without problems.
“Population ageing is a global phenomenon. The elderly face a number of problems due to the absence of an assured and sufficient income to support themselves for their healthcare and other social securities. Loss of a social role and recognition, and non-availability of opportunities for creative and effective use of free time are also becoming a matter of great concern for the elderly persons,” it results physical strength deteriorates, mental stability diminishes; money power becomes bleak coupled with negligence from the younger generation.
India present scenario:-
In India the elders live in constant worry related to three matters, viz., deceases, poverty and loneliness. There is no escape from the first problem because, it is the result of natural process of aging, The second problem is either due to poverty or poor financial management during earning time that has resulted in the absence of saved funds or income yielding investment in the sunset years and the third problem is either due to loss of spouse or NRI children or deliberate abandonment by the children.
The number of Indians over the age of 60 has hit an all-time high, accounting for 8.6 per cent of the country’s 121-crore population, according to latest official figures.
A report released by the Ministry of Statistics said that the number of citizens over the age of 60 jumped 35.5 per cent — from 7.6 crore in 2001 to 10.3 crore in 2011.
This is also a record high since 1950 and is almost twice the rate at which the overall population grew. In the same period — 2001 to 2011 — India’s overall population grew by 17.7 per cent, according to official figures.
OVER 60 YEARS AGE
PERCENTAGE OF SHARE
OVER 60 YEARS AGE
PERCENTAGE OF SHARE
Moreover it said 71 per cent of elderly population resides in villages while 29 per cent is in cities. “The trend clearly reveals that ageing will emerge as a major social challenge in the future,”
Old-age dependency ratio climbed from 10.9 per cent to 14.2 per cent for India as a whole. For females and males, the value of the ratio was 14.9 per cent and 13.6 percent.
The poor seniors are the worst affected. About 65% of the aged had to depend on others for their day to day maintenance. The situation was worse for elderly females with about only 14% to 17% being economically independent in rural and urban areas respectively while the remaining are dependent on others either partially or fully. The elderly males were much better off as majority of them did not depend on others from their livelihood
Government Policies towards senior citizens in india:-
Due to increase in the ratio of elder citizens especially, For a developing country like India, this may pose mounting pressures on various socio economic fronts including pension outlays, health care expenditures, fiscal discipline, savings levels etc. Again this segment of population faces multiple medical and psychological problems. There is an emerging need to pay greater attention to ageing-related issues and to promote holistic policies and programmes for dealing with the ageing society.
Government of India at present providing assistance to senior citizen under different ministries which are not sufficient enough in these situations and need to pay great attention related to these issues.
MINISTRY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE & EMPOWERMENT
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is the nodal Ministry responsible for welfare of the Senior Citizens. It has announced the National Policy on Older Persons covering all concerns pertaining to the welfare of older persons. The National Policy on Older Persons recognizes a person aged 60 years and above as a senior citizen.
The Ministry is also implementing following schemes for the benefit of Senior Citizens:
An Integrated Programme for Older Persons (Plan Scheme) - "Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for Programmes relating to the Welfare of the Aged"...
Ministry of Finance
Income tax rebate upto an income of Rs. 3 lakh p.a. (Age 60 years or more but less than 80 years). For senior citizens of age above 80 years, the income tax rebate is upto an income of Rs 5 lakh p.a.
Higher rates of interest on saving schemes of senior citizens in Earlier years from 2001 to 2010 up to 12% to 14% But Banks almost reduced Interest rate almost 7 to 8 % approximately
Senior Citizens Savings Scheme, 2004:-
Tenure of the deposit account
5 years, which can be extended by 3 years?
Rate of interest
8.6 % per annum Reduced from 9.3%
Frequency of computing interest
Interest is fully taxable.
Whether TDS is applicable
Yes. Tax will be deducted at source.
Present it is reduced from 9.3% to 8.6% and provisions are very much rigid in nature due to lock in period of 5 years and penalty on premature closing after one year.
Varista Bhima Yojana:- Regular Pension benefit for their deposit and it is locked for 15 years. Recently government proposed 8% rate of interest. But due to lock in period and reducing 8% of rate of interest may getting down economical status from previous to present. Premature withdrawal has to be permitted
MINISTRY OF ROAD TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS
· Reservation of two seats for senior citizens in front row of the buses of the
State Road Transport Undertakings.
· Some State Governments are giving fare concession to senior citizens in the
State Road Transport Undertaking buses and are introducing Bus Models,
Which are convenient to the elderly
Fare Concession giving in many states but Reservation of seats is not implemented.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH & FAMILY WELFARE
Separate queues for older persons in hospitals for registration and clinical examination.
Almost all state governments are not at all maintaining this provision
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
· Faults/complaints of senior citizens are given priority by registering them
Under senior citizens category with VIP flag, which is a priority category.
· Senior citizens are allowed to register telephone connection under N-OYT
Special Category, which is a priority category.
Ministry of Railways
· Indian Railways provide fare concession in all Mail / Express including Rajdhani / Shatabadi / Jan Shatabadi trains for senior citizens aged Female - 58 years and Male 60 years and above. The element of concession is 40 % for Male and 50 % for female.
· Indian Railways also have the facility of separate counters for Senior Citizens for purchase / booking / cancellation of tickets.
· Wheel Chairs for use of older persons are available at all junctions, District Headquarters and other important stations for the convenience of needy persons including the older persons.
· Ramps for wheel chairs movement are available at the entry to important
· Specially designed coaches with provisions of space for wheel chairs, hand rail and specially designed toilet for handicapped persons have been introduced.
Fare concession is providing and remaining facilities are not up to the mark and they are only supposed to be appearing and Not in implementation
MINISTRY OF CIVIL AVIATION
Most Airlines are providing 50 per cent Senior Citizen Discount on Normal Economy Class fare for all domestic flights to Indian senior citizens who have completed the age of 63 years, subject to certain conditions.
NOT GIVING FARE CONCESSION UP TO 50%
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS
The 1st October is observed every year as the International Day of Older Persons internationally. Being the nodal Ministry for the welfare of senior citizens, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has been celebrating the occasion every year by organizing a series of programmes and felicitating the distinguished senior citizens with Vayoshrestha Samman. The main idea behind these celebrations is to reiterate the government's commitment towards welfare of the elderly and to ensure that the services rendered by the elderly get its due recognition in the society.
Relevant Constitutional Provisions
Article 41 of the Constitution provides that the State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.
Further, Article 47 provides that the State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties….
Recommendations to Government
Financial issues of Senior Citizens:-The major problems associated with elderly person are due to financial issues. At this is age, no one can either earn or produce money. They can utilize yield on their previous investments like interest on Fixed deposits etc.
Retirement from service usually results in loss of income and the pensions that the elderly receive are usually inadequate to meet the cost of living which is always on the rise. With the reduced income they are reversed from the state of “Chief bread winner to a mere dependent”. The diagnosis and treatment of their disease created more financial problem for old age
The financial dilemma is common among senior citizens who are usually relegated to an abject position of economic inactivity. Lack or absence of financial capacity creates a stressful life and invites the entry of problems other than physical and mental health issues. For instance, domestic problems in an extended family system can aggravate the problem of a financially-destitute senior citizen.
While it may not be the panacea to aging-related problems, the value of money cannot be overstated in the post-retirement period. A financially-handicapped senior citizen, afflicted with some degenerative or serious illness, is practically on the road to an early death.
A financially secure senior citizen with the same illness, however, may have a longer life to live because money can give quick and convenient access to life-giving remedies. Even with state-of-mind dysfunctions like severe depression, boredom, nervous breakdown, and self-pity, financial capacity can buy options to rejuvenate and refresh a financially-capable senior citizen, through travels, elderly recreation, social renewal, and continuing education. A poor senior citizen in the same state of mental degradation cannot afford to do the same; and more so, be back into the mainstream of society.
BANK FIXED DEPOSITS:-
1) We can thoroughly say that Physiological, Psychological, Social, Emotional problems which elder people faces at their last stages purely associated and depend upon Financial issues. All above problems can be reduced making senior citizens financially stable and needs Government support in this regard.
Mostly Senior citizens especially retired government employees who mostly park their money in fixed deposits. Investors in fixed income instruments are a worried lot because banks have brought down their deposit rates. "This comes as a challenge to senior citizens' subsistence,"
The worst hits are senior citizens who depend largely on the interest from their fixed deposits and small savings and Senior citizens fret over falling fixed deposit rates
Bank fd are very flexible in nature and can be withdrawn when they are in need. But it is droping from 12% to 7% over a period due to RBI regulations. It is big blow on senior citizens for their regular income. So Government has to see that some rate cut off on senior citizen fixed deposits in banks and can be fixed to 9.5%. It helps senior citizens to sustain themselves peacefully in rest of their life.
2) Senior citizen Scheme 2004:- Under scheme also Rate of interest must be 9.5% and reduce lock in period for one year and no premature penalty on deposit withdrawal.
3) Separate and adequate funds must be allotted for Senior Citizens Welfare
4) Both States and Central Govt must allocate funds for senior welfare
5) Property tax rebate
6) Post office can be made central point of all govt related financial schemes
Varista Bhima Yojana:- One Year Lock in period and premature withdrawal option should be permitted and interest rate minimum 9% required for necessary medical needs.
Other important Recommendation:-
1) Immediate implementation of Senior Citizens Maintenance Act 2007
2) Implementation of NPOP
3) GOI should consider all stakeholders while revision of NPOP
4) NPOP should consider different needs of different age groups : Young Old , Old old and Very Old
5) Action on BC’s / Chit Funds / Plantation / Plots – Fraud schemes
6) Healthcare Insurance Scheme for BPL / APL
7) Renewal must be automatic, without any limit of upper age
8) Cashless Service must
9) More Public Pvt Partnership
10) Property transfer safeguards
11) Ethical Will concept
12) Advance Directive – Will: Advance directives are a way of making your voice heard when you can no longer speak. They allow you to appoint someone to make your health care decisions for you when you no longer can and to administer or withhold treatment and procedures.
13) Special Elder abuse Law
14) Non Bailable Elder Abuse Law
15) There should be a mentoring Agency for Old Age Homes and Retirement Communities
16) A National Level Elder Helpline (Four digit Code) must be set up
17) Elders’ Right similar to Child Rights must be recognized
18) National Elders Commission (similar to National Women’s Commission)
must be set up
19) Separate Ministry for Senior Citizens Welfare is necessary
20) Intra Ministry work
21) National Association/ Federation of Older Persons must be identified and established
22) Old Age Pension must reach all deserving persons
23) Separate Medicare policy must be available for older persons.
24) Geriatrics and gerontology must be taught in MBBS, PG, Nursing, MSW, etc
25) There must be geriatric wards in District Hospitals
26) There must be Day Care Centres in every municipality
27) There must be Old Age Homes for destitute in every Municipality
28) There must be Day care centres for Dementia patients
29) Pension and Gratuity amount can’t be gifted to any one for minimum 5 yrs of receipt
30) Legal AID Cell in all District courts
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