Print Friendly, PDF & Email

17 MAY, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. Despite the efforts by the Government to introduce new policies, the elderly lack social security and live with a low social status. What are the lacunae in the programs and policies related to the elderly? (200 words)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    According to National Policy on Older Persons 1999 the elderly has been defined as a person of age 60 years or above
    Schemes launched by the government for their welfare:
    • Integrated Program for Elderly Persons since 1992
    • Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and senior citizens Act 2007
    However their degraded condition is palpable on account of
    Loss of dignity
    Earlier their knowledge was useful for future generation which gave them feeling of wanted and social status. However with the orientation of economy towards manufacturing and service sector their traditional skills have become redundant
    Large Informal sector
    India’s large Informal sector including agriculture elderly deprived of pension and other social security benefits.
    Some of the inadequacies in govt schemes are as follows:
    • Lackadaisical approach of the State Governments
    In implementing the Act Maintenance and Appellate Tribunals required to be set under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and senior citizens Act 2007 yet to be constituted in many of the states neither have the adequate number of maintenance officers been appointed
    • Poor education levels
    Percentage of literacy in elderly is very low (44%) and that among females it is worse 28% [Census 2011]
    • Rural urban divide
    Majority of the available facilities for the elderly like health education are concentrated in urban areas. But a major portion of the elderly population resides in rural areas [71%] [Elderly in India 2016 Report: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment]
    Besides there are cultural factors too which are self defeating with respect to current Acts like Parents can complain against their children in the event of their not being taken care of properly, But given our cultural environment it is anybody’s guess that a parent in India will complain against his or her own children

  • Osho Korde

    • There are 87.6 million people aged above 60 in India, as it drew the attention of a nation almost obsessed with its ‘demographic dividend’ to a crucial problem.
    • Considering India is expected to be home to 300 million elderly people by 2050.
    • The National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP) was announced in January 1999 to reaffirm the commitment to ensure the well-being of the older persons. The Policy envisages State support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter and other needs of older persons, equitable share in development, protection against abuse and exploitation, and availability of services to improve the quality of their lives.
    • The Centre has asked State governments to ensure that there are old-age homes whose functioning can be supported under IPOP, but since it is optional for the State governments to do so, the total number of old-age homes remains abysmally low.
    • The one big issue that doesn’t get enough attention today is that old people deserve dignity.
    • Apart from ensuring appropriate medical help, there needs to be more awareness about common degenerative diseases like dementia so that family members, care-givers, and society at large are sensitized to incontinence, the momentary lack of comprehension, the hallucinations — all the painful behavioral, physical, emotional and mental struggles of those who suffer from these diseases.

    for more info: