On 1st April 2017, Mr. Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment launched, first of its kind “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana” in Nellore; Andhra Pradesh aimed to make life comfortable for senior citizens of India.
- Other dignitary present on the occasion was Information and Broadcasting Minister Mr. M Venkaiah Naidu
Objective of Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana:
This scheme has been launched for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices to Senior Citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category who suffer from age related problems viz. hearing impairment, low vision, dental problems etc. These aids and devices will help them in performing their day to day functions without depending on any caregiver or family member.
- This scheme was proposed in Union Budget 2015-16 and is fully funded by Central Government. Money required to run this scheme will be drawn from Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund.
Salient Feature of Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana:
- Walking sticks, elbow crutches, tripod/quadpods, walkers, hearing aids, wheelchairs, spectacles and artificial dentures of high quality will be provided free of cost to the beneficiary which would help in their specific impairment.
- ‘Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)’, a public sector undertaking under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will be the sole implementing agency for this scheme. It will distribute Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices to beneficiaries in camp mode and will also provide one year free maintenance of the same.
- State Governments and Union Territories’ Administrations will form a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector to select the beneficiaries in each district. This Committee will strive to select 30% women beneficiaries in every district.
- As mentioned by Mr. Gehlot this ambitious scheme will benefit 520000 senior citizens in BPL category over a period of three years.
Senior Citizens in India:
Census 2011 data has revealed that there are 10.38 crore senior citizens in India. Out of these, 70% live in rural areas of the country. Around 5.2% of the senior citizens have some sort of old age related physical problems. As per projections, population of senior citizens in India is expected to be around 17.30 crore by the year 2026