Bangalore, October 2022: On the occasion of the “International Day of Older Persons on 1st October 2022”, HelpAge India Bangalore chapter, used this opportunity to bring the elder’s issue to forefront and submitted a Memorandum to Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri. Basavaraj S Bommai on 1st October’ 2021 at Ravindra Kalakshethra, Bangalore.
Ø Universal Pension of Rs.2000
Ø Reinstating of State Council for Senior Citizens
Ø Extending Health Insurance facilities for fresh aspirant Senior citizen above 70 years and
Ø A separate department for Senior Citizens
Our Demands in Detail
Universal Pension Rs. 2000/-
-Universalize social pensions to cover more all elderly without income security in their advanced age.
-The monthly entitlement should be equivalent of half the minimum wage. Presently it amounts to nearly 2500 rupees per person per month.
-The amount should be revised twice a year to account for inflation.
-The procedures for application and renewal are tedious and put the onus on the elderly. Better use of MIS, automatic inclusion and renewal of pensions.
-Mode of disbursement – postal, panchayat office, and bank should be as per the choice of the beneficiary.
-Pensions should be seen as compensation for work –left, as deferred wages and not as a dole.
Why State counsel for senior citizen?
The State Council for Senior Citizen was constituted vide notification WCD/479/PHP/2007 by the Karnataka State Government.
The State Council was headed by Hon’ble Minister for Women & Child Development, Director – Department of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens Empowerment and also involved representatives from NGO’s and Senior citizens. The following activities were carried out under this council.
· Meetings were conducted to review of Welfare Schemes, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen and to ensure improving the delivery services.
· Appropriate Recommendations for the Welfare Programs for Senior Citizens were made to the Government.
· Monitoring to ensure the improving of the functioning of the organization.
It is regrettable that the State Council has not been functioning since last few years.
Extending Health Insurance facilities
Further extension of Health insurance to the senior is up to the age of 65 years with a meagre extension. This applies only on the disease which the insured person acquires after the date of the policy. This facility does not apply to old disease. However most the elderly need insurance facility after the age of 65 to be extended up to 85+ age. This would bring out a sigh of relief among the senior citizens of this age circle.
Separate Department for Senior Citizen:-
At present the unit of senior citizen empowerment is attached with the State Directorate for Women & Child Development, but considering the extent and requirement of senior citizens is considered this attachment seems illogical. Hence, it is requested to provide a separate Directorate exclusively for senior citizens. There are few welfare schemes for elderly in State Policy but many of them are not implemented yet. Therefore we would demand for a separate Ministry or a Department for Senior Citizen to strengthen the Welfare Schemes for the elderly.
HelpAge India is a leading humanitarian, development and campaign organization voices the concerns of elders to help them live a more dignified life. For over 44 years HelpAge India has been working tirelessly for the cause and care of the India’s disadvantaged older person. We provide elderly services through various Age Care interventions and multiple projects across 24 states covering 175 districts. We reach out to 1.25 million needy elders through our nationwide programs for their rights and welfare.
HelpAge advocates for elder rights and conducts awareness programs, reaching out to both people and the government, so elders can access their entitlements. It brings issues to the forefront, information on the Rights and Entitlements of elders in various Govt. Schemes. To this end, it works with civil society, the judiciary, legislators and the government both at the Centre and in the various states.