Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment chaired the “3rdMeeting of National Council of Senior Citizens(NCSrC)” convened by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on 13 June 2018. Vijay Sampla, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Lal Krishna Advani, Member of Parliament, Neelam Sawhney, Secretary, SJ&E and Members of the Council participated in the Meeting.
Addressing on the occasion, Thaawarchand Gehlot said that the government is committed to the welfare of senior citizens and several new initiatives have been taken during past four years. The NCSrC advises Central and State Governments on the entire gamut of issues related to welfare of senior citizens and enhancement of their quality of life. The NCSrC meets at least twice a year. Its first meeting was held on 30th August, 2016 and the second meeting was held on 19th June 2017.
He said that the newly launched “Rashtriya Vayoshree Yojana” provides Physical Aids and Assisted Living Devices to Senior citizens belonging to BPL category. 290 districts have been identified for the financial year 2017-18 and 2018-19, out of which assessment has been done in 49 districts and camps held in 29 districts so far, benefitting 34069 senior citizens belonging to BPL families.
Gehlot said that his Ministry observes International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on 1stOctober every year and Vayoshreshtha Samman/National Awards are conferred in 13 categories to institutions and senior citizens for their outstanding contribution towards the cause of elderly persons since 2013. He informed the Members that the Advertisements seeking nominations had been published in various national and regional newspapers and to encourage wider response and thereby to facilitate fair selection, the closing date for receipt of nominations has been extended to 30th June, 2018. He said that the Members of the Council are entitled to make nominations for Vayoshreshtha Samman.
Today’s Meeting discussed the Agenda points viz.: Amendments to the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007; Rastriya Vayoshri Yojana (A Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-Living Devices for Senior Citizens belonging to BPL Category); Revised Scheme of Integrated Programme for Senior Citizens (IPSrC); National Award/VayoshreshthaSamman; Senior Citizens Welfare Fund; Financial assistance under IGNOAPS; Social Security to Senior Citizens; Facilities at Railway Stations; and Bridging of Inter-generational Gap.
In pursuance of the National Policy for Older Persons (NPOP), 1999, a National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) was constituted in the same year under the Chairpersonship of the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment to oversee implementation of the Policy. The NCOP had been the highest body to advise the Government in the formulation and implementation of policy and programmes for the aged. National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) was first constituted in: 1999 (tenure-5 years); reconstituted in: 2005, 2011.NCOP reconstituted and renamed as National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC) in 2012.
Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment is the Chairperson of NCSrC and theMinister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment is the Vice-Chairperson.It consists of 30 Official Members from various Central Government Ministries and Departments; 6 Regional Representatives from State Governments (on rotation basis); 2 Representatives from Parliament – Oldest member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha; 5 representatives (one from each of the five regions of North, South, East, West and North-East) nominated by Central Government from Senior Citizens Associations, Pensioners Association, NGOs working for Senior Citizens, Experts in the field of Ageing and related areas and Senior citizens distinguished in various fields.