Agewell Foundation's Representation to the Prime Minister of India
(In Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC at United Nations since 2011)
Associated with UN-DPI
May 11, 2013
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Honourable Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister’s Office,
North Block, New Delhi
Hon’ble Prime Minister,
We believe there is nobody better than you as our country's statesman, who has created a value in the midst of our growing elderly population and the rights that can be sought for valued living till the end.
We are almost 103 million old people in India today and over 17000 are entering in the bracket of Old Age (60+) every day. Though old people constitute the largest section of actual voters as well as leaders and decision makers in our country, welfare of old people is still a serious matter of concern for all of us. Indeed, in India, even after sea change in our socio-economic scenario, welfare of older persons is still considered as an added responsibility.
In view of repeated cases of harassment of senior citizens appearing in newspapers across the country and ever-growing distress calls being received at our Helplines for Older Persons, we appeal to you for considering the following:
· In all government schemes, focus must also be put on needs & rights of older persons, as number of older persons growing rapidly but they remain vulnerable throughout their life in old age
· Under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, all private business houses must be dierctred to include old age issues into theirCSR initiatives.
· Establishment of a National Institute for Aged on the lines of AIIMS for treatment and research in age related ailments.
· Setting up of National Fund for the Aged (on the lines of National Fund for Rural Development).
· Issue of Special identity-cum-credit cards for the Older Persons (credit could be linked to the amount deposited or pension dues.)
· Setting up of National Commission for the Aged. (on the lines of NHRC to advice various ministries/departments on Older Persons friendly policies and protect the interests of the aged)
· Prime Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme for the aged.
· Setting up of a National Institute for Promotion of Entrepreneurship amongst the Aged.
· Setting up of Foundation for revitalization of traditions and oral knowledge.
· Enactment of Older Persons’ Justice Act.
· A scheme for establishing Aged Women’s Hostel on the lines of working women Hostels in each district.
· Arrangement for Temporary shelters for the aged in each district.
In recognition of the work amongst older persons Agewell Foundation has been granted Special Consultative Status by ECOSOC at United Nations. Thus, Agewell has become the first NGO from South-Asian countries in Ageing sector, which has been granted this prestigious status at United Nations.
We have also set up the first consortium of NGOs across SAARC countries to advocate for the needs & rights of 160 million older persons from this region, in the international arena.
Over the years Agewell Foundation has developed a Consortium of over 1500 non-governmental organizations and two-tier voluntary network of over 6500 primary and 75000 secondary volunteersspread across 540 districts of India, which interacts with over 25000 persons on daily basis. Agewell has already extended a helping hand to 5 million+ older persons across the country. (For more details about Agewell Foundation’s activities, we invite you to visit our website atwww.agewellfoundation.org).
As a non-government organization, Agewell Foundation with extensive experience and knowledge about needs of older persons would be obliged for an opportunity to assist the government in extending a helping hand to old people and also to be of assistance to the government at the international forums in deliberations at the United Nations.
On behalf of millions of old people from across the country we thank you for your dynamic leadership.
Encl.: Presentation along with representative newspaper clippings about Agewell Foundation
for your reference & information