India at UN’s Ageing group | #healthcare | #elderly | #seniors
TS Tirumurti, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, on Monday addressed the 11th session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing. The Ageing group was established by the General Assembly exactly 10 years ago on 21 December 2010. This group aims to strengthen the protection of the human rights of older people and develop proposals for an international legal instrument towards this end. This year, the 11th Session of the Working Group will be held from 29 March to 1 April 2021 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
‘India home to over 135 million old people’: TS Tirumurti
TS Tirumurti said that India is home to over 135 million old people and there are measures being taken to promote social, economic and emotional security for the elderly.
“The ageing of the world population is one of the most challenging phenomena of demographic transition in the 21st century. India is home to over 135 million old persons and this population segment is expected to reach nearly 20 per cent of our population in 2050. The adoption of the 2002 Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing provides a roadmap for addressing the challenges of an ageing society and the realization of the human rights of older persons. In line with our commitments, we have undertaken a number of legislative and policy measures to promote social, economic and emotional security for the elderly,” he said.
India’s Permanent Representative UN stated that the well-being of senior citizens is mandated in the Constitution of India which enjoins the State to make effective provision for securing the right to work and to public assistance in cases of old age. India has adopted a multi-stakeholder approach, to enable the elderly to lead a secure, dignified and productive life.
National Action Plan for the Welfare of Senior Citizens
Tirumurti informed that in the year 2020, the National Action Plan for the Welfare of Senior Citizens was launched that addresses the needs of older persons holistically with special emphasis on four basic needs:
- Financial security
- Health care
- A life of dignity
“The National Policy on Older Persons provides state support for financial and food security, health care, shelter and protection against exploitation. The National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly provides for improved health services. The Integrated Program for Senior Citizens and Senior Citizen Welfare Fund facilitate inter-sectoral coordination between Central Government and State Governments. There are also provisions for institutional support to widows and older women in vulnerable situations,” said Tirumurti.
He also informed that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007 has made care, maintenance and well-being of parents by their children obligatory and justiciable. In cases of abuse, the Act provides older adults with the right to approach a dedicated tribunal.
Role of Non-Governmental Organisations & Informal Groups
India’s Permanent Representative UN added that in order to provide a security net for senior citizens supplementing what the family provides in keeping with our longstanding traditions, Non-Governmental Organisations and Informal Groups have been playing an increasingly important role in India. These NGOs are particularly relevant in urban areas where the chances of abuse are much more.
“We appreciate the role of these NGOs in protecting and promoting the rights of older persons. We have accorded priority to lifelong learning and formulated guidelines to facilitate the participation of adult learners in the university system. India is firmly committed to protecting, caring and providing for the welfare and wellbeing of its elderly,” he stated.
(Image Credits: @TSTirumurti/Twitter/PTI/RepresentativeImage)