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National seminar on empowering senior citizens

National seminar on empowering senior citizens

A two-day national seminar on empowering senior citizens was

organized by Indian Society of U3As at Hotel Karpagam in Mylapore last

week.

Subjects such as status of senior citizens and their role in the society,

social and political empowerment, healthy senior citizens, health

services their access and health insurance policies, economic

empowerment and different schemes of the governments to name a

few.

S Sathyamoorthy, former Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General of

India and a World Bank consultant and advisor of Indian Society of

U3As and Dr R K Garg, secretary general of the organization chaired the

sessions attended by a large number of senior citizens.

Dr Garg said the age-related issues of the senior citizens are neglected

in India and not given due attention they deserve unlike other

developed nations. The general assumption is care of the elderly is

responsibility of the family and not that of the state.

Garg detailed the history of ÌSU 3A which has 2500 branches in

Australia. Tom Holloway of UK is the international President

India spends only 0.39 percent of the GDP on senior citizens not to

mention of withdrawal of concession for travel in Indian Railways

abruptly citing financial reasons and even a tiny nation such as Nepal

spends about four percent of its GDP on senior citizens and western

nations from 8 to 10 percent.

In 1999, the then Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee initiated

National Policy for Older People which later became the national policy.


However the facilities provided to senior citizens such as old age

pension, free geriatric care do not come closer to those benefits

offered by other nations.

About 20 delegates led by JR Gupta came from New Delhi with

the support of Delhi Government. Dr Vyasamoorthy

chairperson came from Hyderabad and Avinash Lakre from

Pune introduced and released his bilingual book Grand Parents

and Grand Children 

The seminar expressed concern over banks refusing issue of t

credit cards and loans for businesses above 65 plus which is a

Clear cut discrimination when the entire West considers 65 as

middle age. The seminar decided to represent the matter with

the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, according to

Viswanathan a retired IAS officer.

The two day annual meet decided to form a Chennai Chapter

under the stewardship of Namasivayam a doyen of senior

citizens and he represented Probus Club. Banwarilal who has

willed his body to medical research post his   demise proposed

a vote of thanks 

The gathering was invited to Chennai by Sathya Moorthy. He

said ISU3A was an important institution started in France to

empower seniors in the third age above 60 with skills to be self

reliant and socially useful.

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