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India to get its own social security system
Jamaluddin Ahmed in New Delhi | January 22, 2006 22:58 IST
Concerned over the problems faced by elderly people, the government is formulating a draft legislation for promoting care, maintenance and protection of senior citizens.
The proposed legislation includes provision of need-based maintenance, minimum level of financial security, old age pension, setting up a well-equipped ward in each district hospital and at least one old-age home in each district, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment sources told PTI.
The Bill also has a provision for protection of life and property of older people.
They said the United Progressive Alliance government's policies and programmes in the area of social defence were aimed at protecting people who are particularly vulnerable, like elder persons, children in need of care and protection and victims of abuse and alcoholism.
Referring to the government initiatives in the areas, the sources said a National Policy for Older Persons was already in place and it contains the principal area of 'intervention and action' strategy to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter and their other needs.
The National Council for Older Persons aids and advises the government on policies and programmes for older persons and provides the feedback to it on the implementation of the national policy, they said.
Under the ministry's Integrated Programme for older persons, the sources said financial assistance was being given to NGOs to establish and maintain old age homes, day care centres and mobile medicare units.
During 2004-05, grant-in-aid of Rs 15.70 cr was given to 444 NGOs for running old age homes, day care centres, mobile medicare units and non-conventional service centres in different parts of the country.
Recognising their significant services, seven distinguished senior citizens were felicitated with Vayoshrestha Samman award for their exemplary services in different walks of life on the occasion of the International Day of older persons on October 1, 2005.