Union Ministries roped in to safeguard interests of elderly
New Delhi: The Social Justice Ministry has asked some of the key Central ministries to take necessary steps to safeguard the interests of senior citizens and ensure their financial, health and personal securities.
The move comes following recommendations of the ministry's first 'National Conference on Ageing' in this regard.
The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has forwarded its recommendations to Union ministries such as Home Affairs, Finance, Health and Rural Development to take steps for providing all forms of safety and security to the senior citizens, a ministry official told a news agency here.
"The ageing conference especially dealt with the subject of financial, health and physical security of senior citizens and a consensus was evolved there to rope in ministries and departments concerned with the task. We have specially asked Home, Finance, Health and Rural Development Ministry to initiate measures for security of older people," the official said.
While the MHA has been roped to inform state governments and their police forces to give more emphasis on security needs of senior citizens, the Finance Ministry has been asked to ensure timely disbursement of funds for schemes for older people.
"The Health Ministry has been asked to ensure availability of geriatric care and medicines at hospitals and health centres. The health and medicare needs of senior citizens are different from others and there is serious dearth of specialists in this field currently," the official said.
Similarly the Rural Development Ministry has been asked to increase the money provided to senior citizens under Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOPS).
The Social Justice Ministry also plans to review initiatives undertaken by other government departments to take stock of the work done for empowerment of senior citizens.
The first ever National Conference on Ageing was organised by the ministry last November. It was attended by representatives of various ministries, departments and state governments.
The conference dwelt upon four different themes of social and economic security of older persons, health care, family and community care, and focused on elderly groups consisting of senior citizens above 80 years.