With the motto of ‘Let the Old People Age Well’, Agewell Foundation has come up with a note worthy thought keeping in mind the growing population of older people. The life span of old people is increasing and so are their requirements. Keeping in mind their needs, considering the growing proportion and their contribution in our economy, Agewell Foundation has requested the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for aid.
Its time their needs and rights are assessed and they are offered equal opportunities and their participation is ensured in the mainstream of the nation. Since the wake of old age comes a lot of health problems, financial issues and the need arises to engage themselves into various activities, it is very necessary to build an elderly friendly environment. An environment for the elder citizens in which they can adjust themselves, adapt and contribute through their life long knowledge ,experience and expertise for the betterment of the society.
Chairman of Agewell Foundation, Himanshu Rath said, “In view of large section of older persons belonging to unorganized sector, social security of older persons is one of the major challenges, which need to be addressed in time. With popularity of nuclear family system, older persons living alone need to be given special attention and care while discussing budgetary provisions.”
Since Union Budget plays a very important role in making provisions for the upcoming year, Agewell Foundation has requested the Finance Minister to make provisions for the elder citizen in order to empower them. The following are the key points to the consideration:
i. A minimum increase of Old Age Pension amount to Rs. 2000 with Centre’s contribution of Rs 1000 p.m
ii. Covering all older persons(60+) having annual income up to Rs 96,000/- under Old Age Pension schemes.
iii. Special provision for elder widows such as a minimum old age pension of 2500 p.m.
iv. Tax exemption to all the elderly persons(60+) with an annual taxable income of Rs. 500000
v. Financial incentive for setting up network of Caregivers for Older Persons at block level to look after older persons living alone.
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vi. 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).
vii. Prime Minister’s Self-Employment Scheme for the aged.
viii. Setting up of a National Institute for Promotion of Entrepreneurship amongst the Aged.
ix. Financial incentives for establishing Aged Women’s Hostel on the lines of working women Hostels in each district.
x. Establishment of a National Institute for Aged on the lines of AIIMS for treatment and research in age related ailments.