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SYMPOSIUM ON ROLE OF OLDER PERSONS IN DEMOCRACY-II

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WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON ONE-RANK-ONE-PENSION FOR RETIRED SERVICES PERSONNEL

23rd April 2009

GULMOHAR HALL, INDIA HABITAT CENTRE, LODI ROAD

Key Speakers:
Lt. Gen. (Emeritus) RajKadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Chairman, IESM, Vice Admiral Subhash Chopra (Retd.) Wg. Cdr Praful Bakshi (Retd.)
Agewell Foundation is about understanding needs of older persons, advocacy for their rights and sensitizing every one about Old Age.A survey conducted by Agewell Foundation in recent past suggests that older persons have an important role in democratic process as they not only constitute largest number of actual voters but also form largest number of elected leadership of the democracy.

However, in spite of all this there are hardly any Pro-Old People policies. One example of insensitiveness towards the older people is the struggle for One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) for retired services personnel. Therefore to illustrate our survey findings we have invited views of ex-servicemen about the need for One-Rank-One-Pensi…

Don’t alien older persons in democracy

Democracy is not only about periodic process in democratic elections and political rights but also to empower the underpowered older persons to participate in nations affairs, express their opinion and thus be counted in political process.
On the eve of 15th parliamentary elections in democratic India advertisements are appearing with titles like “Why is the youngest parliament?” and “the great Indian Neta. Allowed to tire best but not retire.”
The advertisers of such advertisements with disproportionate bias in favour of young voters particularly 4.3 crore first time voters are perhaps trying the easiest way to become somebody by saying something very provocative, very loudly and very often. Such advertisements dampen democracy.

These advertisements are glaring examples of age-discrimination and the practical manifestation of ageism creating a tendency in modern society to see people above 60 as “old” with little or no contribution to society ignoring the fact that older people are jus…

THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH

• We aim to improve human development by life expectancy so that people live much longer beyond 60. In 1900 people used to live barely one year after retirement, by 2012 a person is likely to live 25 years after retirement. That’s good news – right?

• But this prolonged life by postponing death can be a mixed blessing given the creaking machinery of our ageing bodies and the crumbling social edifice that surrounds elderly. In a world of competing priorities, we must ask as to what kind of life extension should we focus on living. It might make sense to focus on living rather than be obsessed with not dying!

• Longer old age will in particular be marked by substantial increase in population of older persons with needs for assistance and care whose number expected to reach 110 million by year 2020 from 90 million at present.

• Whether or not this increase in population of older persons will be a cause of celebration or a primary factor leading to a care-giving crisis will in fact depend o…