May 8, 2012

Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing & India


Impact on gainful engagement opportunities in Old Age


·               When asked about gainful occupation in old age, it was found that 34210 elderly persons were involved in gainful activities. Majority of older persons (65.8%) were not gainfully engaged anywhere.
·               45.76% elderly men & 24.34% elderly women were engaged in gainful activities. Wherein in rural areas they were working in their fields, rearing cattle, general retail shops, sundry crafts, etc, in urban areas older persons were keeping themselves busy with small roadside shops and other jobs.
·               When older persons, not involved in any gainful activity, were asked about their interest in any gainful work, 40.4% older persons (26576 out of total 65790 elderly people) expressed their desire to work.
·               61.8% elderly men & 27.3% elderly women said they want to work anywhere to keep them gainfully engaged.
·               According to 22474 older persons i.e. 84.57 % of 26576 older persons (who are unable to find any suitable job for them) there are no opportunities for them to get any gainful engagements in old age. Whereas 4102 older persons (15.43% of 26576 older persons) said that they got some opportunities in old age but available opportunities were not suitable to them.
·               When asked about government’s efforts undertaken during the past 10 years to keep its senior citizens gainfully engaged, only 5.3% older persons appreciated government’s initiatives.

Interviewers’ observations :
In rural areas majority of older people were found working in their fields or other petty jobs like small shops, crafts, etc.  to keep themselves engaged, whereas in urban areas majority of older persons were busy in finding suitable job opportunities, even when they manage some small entrepreneur pursuit to earn money.

“After retirement I tried my best to find any suitable job for myself, so that I could remain active and busy. But despite all efforts, I failed. There were few jobs, but more of them are very far from my house. Few years back when Metro came to our locality, it was like a boon for me. I joined a job at a distant place. Due to modern transportation facility in my old age I have become more active and healthy”
- Satish Malpani, a retired engineer, Dwarka, Delhi