NEW DELHI: Over the next one month, seven working groups, steered by experts and those working with the elderly and ageing, will put together
comprehensive action plans
on subjects ranging from financial security, ‘silver’ economy, healthcare and nutrition to livelihood and shelter for this vulnerable group of citizens.
of social justice and empowerment has constituted panels to draft approach papers to address the challenges facing senior citizens. The Centre had set-up a senior citizen welfare fund in 2016 to finance
for this important demographic group. The reports will provide inputs to design comprehensive programmatic initiatives.
It is estimated that there are 14 crore senior citizens in the country and this block is seen as vulnerable in view of social and financial challenges. With increasing longevity the elderly are seen as an expanding social block requiring different types of support mechanism - which mirrors the scenario in the developed countries. The national action plan for senior citizens (NAPSrC) also talks of a multi-pronged strategy for improving the socio-economic support mechanism for senior citizens.
Each of the seven working groups have been assigned a specific subject to work on. They will prepare reports on ways to promote financial security, silver economy, healthcare and nutrition, livelihoods and income generating activities, schemes for shelter and welfare, skilling and re-skilling senior citizens for productive aging, awareness and capacity building.
According to an order issued by the ministry, the working groups have a deadline of October 30 to submit their reports. The groups have been tasked to define the problems and suggest strategies for resolving the same, outline the programmes and initiatives for translating these strategies into action, list the required funding for these initiatives up to 2024 and the expected outcomes.
The Centre has told the working groups that the policies to be drafted will be financed on a public private partnership mode and the private sector will play an important role. "The government investments should be primarily for crowding-in private investments," it is stated in the ministry’s order.