Dr. Suresh Goel, D.G., I.C.C.R.; Mrs. Bappoo, Minister and J.R. Gupta, Chairperson

Senior Citizens Conference

Senior Citizens Council of Delhi in association with ICCR and Confederation of Senior Citizens Associations of Delhi (an umbrella Body of 11 lakhs senior citizens) organized Senior Citizens Conference at Azad Bhavan Auditorium, New Delhi on 10 January 2013 in which more than 500 senior citizens participated. After detailed deliberations, it was resolved to request Govt. of India as well as Govt. of Delhi to consider following demands concerning senior citizens:-

Physical handicapped/disabled persons are getting monthly pension at present at the rate of Rs.1,500.00 upto the age of 55 years and thereafter they are converted into old-age pension s heme where they are entitled to only Rs.1,000.00 per month from 56 yrs to 69 yrs. As such, they would draw Rs.500.00 less. As such, Delhi Govt. should allow those persons to continue to draw their pension at the rate of Rs.1,500.00 per month.
Launching of helpline for senior citizens like recently launched for women, as no. of incidents targeting senior citizens, particularly, lonely senior citizens are increasing day by day. Such helpline can be managed and controlled by Confederation, if permitted by Social Welfare Department of Delhi Govt.
As per policy, old age homes are required to be constructed by Delhi Govt. in all the 11 districts whereas at present only 2 old-age homes are working at Lampur (Narela) and Bindapur (Dwarka). The Confederation is willing to manage and control any of the old-age home, if permitted by Delhi Govt.
Delhi State Commission for Senior Citizens on the lines of Madhya Pradesh Govt. where such Commission was announced in December 2012.
Provision of Recreation Centres for Senior Citizens in each and every Municipal Ward.
Medical reimbursement if Rs.1,000.00 per month to BPL senior citizens in addition to monthly old-age pension like Goa Govt.
Increase in monthly old-age pension from Rs.1,000.00 to Rs.1,500.00 between the age of 60 and 69 yrs.
50% concession in DTC buses for senior citizens like U.T. of Chandigarh.
Reservation of one coach in Delhi Metro for senior citizens as due to heavy rush, senior citizens are facing inconvenience.
Railway Department should allow 50% concession in railway tickets, instead of presently 40%, like in the case of women as female senior citizens prefer to travel only with their spouses.
There is an extraordinary delay by Social Welfare Department for releasing Recreation Grants to Senior Citizens Associations from October 2012 onwards and on enquiry, it was told that cases are pending with Ms. Achala Singh, Director. Urgent action is required, otherwise, the Grant would lapse on 31st March 2013.

A Charter of Demands concerning above points has also been sent to Smt. Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi requesting to convene Joint meeting with officers of Social Welfare Department and Confederation members to resolve the above issues amicably and at the earliest.

On this occasion, Chief Guest was Hon'ble Mrs. S. Bappoo, Social Security Minister, Govt. of Mauritius who was felicitated with a shawl and memento. While welcoming the Chief Guest, J.R. Gupta, President of the Council briefed about MOU between Senior Citizens Council of Delhi and Senior Citizens Council of Mauritius for exchange of groups of elderly of both the countries and expressed his gratitude and sincere thanks to Hon'ble Minister Mrs. S. Bappoo for her full co-operation in implementing of MOU since 2006.

Chief Guest thanked Mr. J.R. Gupta for warm welcome extended to her, particularly, in the presence of a large no. of senior citizens. She narrated in detail a no. of schemes being launched for the benefit of senior citizens in Mauritius although total population there is approximately 12 lakhs. The members applauded while knowing that Mrs. Bappoo is holding Minister-ship for the last 21 years exclusively. She told about Indo-Mauritian relations like brothers and sisters and people in Mauritius having Indian origin have preserved the culture and customs of India. She further elaborated that about 150 yrs ago, their fore-fathers landed at Mauritius as labourers mostly from U.P., Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra and due to their hard work, now they are heading the Govt. in Mauritius. During her speech for half an hour, every participant present was very much impressed and continued with applause. She was also very much impressed about the working of Senior citizens Council of Delhi and Confederation, particularly, with the continuous devotion by Mr. J.R. Gupta for the cause and care of elderly.

On this occasion, a Kavi Sammelan was also organized which was inaugurated jointly by the Chief Guest and Dr. Suresh Goel, D.G., I.C.C.R.. Dr. Goel assured to extend his full co-operation to Senior Citizens Council of Delhi as and when required. He further told that he has personally seen the various activities of the Council at Deer Park and for this Mr. Gupta is to be complimented. National poets S/Shri Kunwar Bechain, Gajender Solanki and Vigyan Varth recited various poems which were appreciated by all present. The function was concluded with a vote of thanks by Shri Balbir Singh Yadav, Secretary General followed by refreshments.

Webmonger: C.Vennela
12th Jan 2013