World Senior Citizen’s Day is observed annually on August 21 to raise awareness about the various issues including age deterioration and elder abuse that affect senior citizens. The day also acknowledges and appreciates their achievements, dedication, accomplishments, and services they contribute throughout their lives to the society.
- It also reminds the government of its commitment to support the country’s senior citizens and also to ensure that the elderly and people of all ages do not face abuse, hunger and poverty.
i.The day was officially founded by Ronald Reagan, former President of the United States of America, in 1988. He signed Proclamation 5847 declaring August 21st as the day.
ii.On December 14, 1990, The United Nations General Assembly issued a proclamation to celebrate the day on August 21 every year .
iii.The day was 1st celebrated on October 1, 1991.
Seniors Citizens in COVID-19
COVID-19 pandemic has affected the livelihood of many people especially, where several senior citizens and artists are also struggling to make their ends meet and live a comfortable life.
Government of India’s Initiatives for senior citizens:
i.Integrated Programme for Older Persons
This programme has been implemented since 1992 by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Objective– To improve the quality of life of senior citizens by providing basic amenities, entertainment opportunities and by encouraging productive and active ageing.
Maintenance of projects- Under the scheme, NGOs, Panchayati Raj Institutions among others are given financial assistance to run and maintain projects like old age homes, physiotherapy centres, etc.
ii.Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana
It is a centrally sponsored scheme to provide free assisted living aids and physical devices to those who are aged above 60 years and belong to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.
iii.Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme
It is a non-contributory pension scheme for adults who are above 60 years and live below the poverty line.
It is the annual national award of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It is given to senior citizens and institutions, in recognition of their services towards the cause of the elderly persons.
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