01 October 2009
City–based International Longevity Centre – India (ILC–I) is pushing for the implementation of the Maharashtra State Policy For Older Persons (MPOP). The policy has been drafted by the ILC–I, Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development and Administration (Yashada) and various federations in the state working for the senior citizens as well as experts in the field.
“The draft policy has been submitted to the state government recently. However, the decision is pending on account of ongoing code of conduct for the forthcoming assembly elections,” S D Gokhale, president, ILC–I told TOI on Wednesday.
The draft policy urges that all government schemes and programmes should be designed keeping in consideration the need of the senior citizen. “According to the national policy for the elderly, it is mandatory for each state to have its own policy in the context of the situation of the respective state,” Gokhale said.
The mission of the MPOP is to help empower the elderly by providing them with opportunities to lead productive, proactive, secure and healthy lives, participating to their fullest capacity in the lives of their families and communities.
Gokhale added: “The draft policy clearly mentions what needs to be achieved in the next 10 years, what ought to be done in the next five years and what should be the strategy in order to achieve these long–term and short–term goals.”
The policy seeks to ensure human and constitutional rights of the elderly in regards to financial security, health care and nutrition, shelter, education, welfare, and protection of life and property.
Gururaj Mutalik, who was also involved in drafting the policy, said, “There are more women senior citizens compared to men and the plight of the widows in the country is not too good. Unlike other countries, India does not have a security net for the elderly. When India celebrates the centennial of freedom, the country will have three times of the elders we have today.”
The policy urges all government schemes and programmes to be designed in such a way that it includes the senior citizen, and their needs are factored in the government budgeting process at every level – national, state and local.
“We are convinced that we need to ensure healthy ageing. For this, we are trying to draw attention of the government and urging them to implement this state policy,” Mutalik said.
The Policy at a Glance
Elaborates on issues like the role of civil society, welfare activities, family and community support, friendly housing for the aged in private sector, mobilising the elderly for productive work, and utilising their potential, research in the fields of gerontology and geriatrics, and media and advocacy
To help senior citizens empower by providing opportunities to lead productive, proactive, secure and healthy lives, participating to their fullest capacity in the lives of their families and communities
The policy seeks to ensure human and constitutional rights of the elderly to financial security, health care and nutrition, shelter, education, welfare and protection of life and property
Statistics of the Elderly According to 2001 Census
- Total Indian population: 7.44% or 75,622,321
- Total population in Maharashtra (60+) 8.7% or 96.9 million
- States with high percentage: Kerala 10.5%; Punjab 9%; Himachal Pradesh 9%; Tamil Nadu 8.8%
- States with low percentage: Dadra and Nagar Haveli 4%
- Total population in Pune (60+) 7.42%
- Total population in Mumbai: 6.49%
- City with high percentage: Amritsar 9.89%
- City with low percentage: Patna 6.6%