India with its young manpower is determined to reap the demographic dividend. Skill India and several other initiatives are to make India a global hub for meeting its manpower requirements. But, three decades down the line, when this young workforce age, the country will have challenges of different nature.
Time is now that India advancing reforms for Elderly care need and it requires a new ecosystem all together, as the families now are small and senior citizens in modern India will need state-of-the-art facilities ranging from preventive care to diagnostics, world class hospitals to apartments that are built according to the needs of the elderly.
An apt platform to start working in this direction is the Birth Anniversary of Father of the Nation- Mahatma Gandhi, 2nd October, which is also celebrated as the International Day of Older Persons. To mark the ‘International day of Older Persons’ on 2nd October, more than 5000 participants gathered at India Gate for a noble cause to spread the message of caring and giving respect to older persons and senior citizens. This year’s theme was “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.”
Leading from the front, Thaawarchand Gehlot Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment along with the Minister of State Krishan Pal Gurjar, took the pledge with other dignitaries and 5000 participants as they flagged off the 1 km Walkathon. In his address, Thaawarchand Gehlot said that the Government is committed to the welfare of Older Persons and the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is running two important schemes namely “Vriddh Jan Grah Yojana and Day Care Centres” for Older Persons all over India and Non Government Organisations and Voluntary Organisations are also participating in these schemes. He urged the people especially the young generation to accord due respect to older persons in their families.
On the International Day of Older Persons, every year since 2005 the mass awareness event “Walkathon” is being held at India Gate. National Institute of Social Defense (NISD) and Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India have been conducting this event for 14 years since its inception. This Walkathon on IDOP at India Gate is now in its 14th year.
No doubt, a lot is needed from the Government to create an adept eco-system for elderly now and in foreseeable future!