NGOs have urged the government to increase the allocation of funds for health and nutrition for adolescents and elderly in the upcoming budget.
In its survey conducted among 5000 old people across the country, Agewell Foundation found that the budgetary provisions can address the issues concerning them to a larger extent.
According to the survey, 81 per cent of the elderly respondents were found to be optimistic about the forthcoming budget and believed that government will consider issues concerning them.
“On the basis of ongoing interaction with a large number of older persons, their family members, and caregivers on daily basis, Agewell Foundation appeals to the Hon’ble Finance Minister and others concerned to make adequate elderly friendly provisions in the next budget,” Agewell Foundation said in a statement.
The Agewell Foundation recommended provisions for setting up of skill training and retooling centres for the older people, GST exemption on services and products commonly used by elderly, and provision for providing Nutri-kits to elderly from below poverty line families.
It also asked for dedicated healthcare and online counselling services and special provisions for older persons in government schemes.
Another NGO, Population Foundation of India, asked for a substantial increase in budget allocations for health, nutrition and education and skill building of adolescents in the forthcoming Union budget 2022-23.
It said the budget should focus on strengthening Mission Poshan 2.0 to address the nutrition requirements of adolescent girls.
It asked for an increase in the budget for family welfare to ensure adequate supply of contraceptive methods for spacing births, and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to meet reproductive health needs.
“Allocating more towards Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan to help bridge the digital divide in education for adolescent girls and create equal opportunities for schooling and equitable learning outcomes.
“Investing in promoting health education in schools and colleges to enable adolescents to take charge of their own health needs,” PFI said in a statement.