September 24, 2009


AGEWELL'S SYMPOSIUM-cum-Interactive Session

3rd October, 2009 India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

Key Speakers:

Prof. Munish Tamang

Member, CNI, Synod Church

Shri Harvendra Singh Hanspal

Member, National Commission for Minorities

Smt. Spalzes Angmo

Member, National Commission for Minorities

Mr. Aklaq Ahmed,

National Vice-president, Sarvadharma Kaumi Ekta

Press Release:

New Delhi, 3rd October 2009: With the issues of the safety and well being of the minorities in the country being debated at the grass root level, Agewell Foundation, an NGO dedicated towards the welfare of Older Persons across the country, dedicated its 20th Symposium to the elderly members of Minority Communities of India. The Foundation organized a Symposium-cum-Interactive Session titled as ‘Status of Older Persons in Minority Communities’ on 3rd October 2009 at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Center, Lodi Road, New Delhi.

The interaction in the symposium covered the problems faced by the elderly members of the minority communities. Eminent representatives and experts from minority communities like Prof. Munish Tamang, Member, CNI, Synod Church, Shri H S Hanspal, Member, National Commission for Minorities & Smt. Spalzes Angmo, Member, National Commission for Minorities & Shri Aklaq Ahmed participated in the session as Key Speakers and shared their views on the topic.

Appreciating the Agewell’s survey on status of elderly in minority communities, Prof. Munish Tamang said that since one in every five persons will be an elderly by 2050, comprehensive study of ever-growing elderly population and their needs is urgently required today.

In fact, this symposium was extension of Agewell’s recently concluded study of Status of Older Persons in Minority Communities. Major findings of the Agewell Minority Study were as under:

Ø 58.46% of the respondent elderly were facing medical problems. Most affected communities are Muslim community - 67.7% & Christian - 62.8%.

Ø 81.5% of urban minority older persons are facing social problems. In rural areas this percentage is quite low as 55.4%.

Ø 57.6% of elderly in minority communities are facing financial problems. In Muslim community alone 85.8% older persons had no or less regular income.

Ø 37.6% of the minority elderly (49.2% Muslim, 20.1% Buddhist, 40.5% Christian 38.8% Sikh & 39.5% Jain) were facing legal problems.

Ø In the age group of 60-69 years, 78% of older persons were enjoying good health, financial & social status.

(More details about Agewell Minority Study may be obtained from Agewell’s

Research & Advocacy Centre for Needs & Rights of Older Persons.)

Speaking on the latest initiative of Agewell, Chairman of Agewell Foundation Himanshu Rath said, “Older persons in minority communities are comparatively much disadvantaged section of our society. There is an urgent need to develop social security net for minority older persons of the country.”

The Agewell has created this platform for the welfare of the aged in particular and society in general to correct this state of affair and educate the society and various institutions serving them to be more compassionate and also in the process inform the young generation of impending problems which they may have to face when they reach the dusk of their life.

About Agewell

Agewell Foundation was established in 1999 as an NGO dedicated towards the welfare of Older Persons across the country. Agewell is bringing about a change in the perception of old age and assist older persons to move towards confidence, respect and mutual caring. It has established a consortium of over 1500 NGOs and 6500 volunteers spread across 540 districts of India, working on improving interaction and transaction between generations and extend support and strength to millions of older persons of India.

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