A Central Sector Scheme to improve the quality of life of the Senior Citizens (Revised as on 01.04.2018)
There has been a steady rise in the population of senior citizens in India. The number of elderly persons has increased from 1.98 crore in 1951 to 7.6 crore in 2001, and 10.38 crore in 2011. The projections indicate that the number of 60+ in India will increase to 14.3 crore in 2021 and 17.3 crore in 2026. Continuous increase in life expectancy means that more people are now living longer. General improvement in the health care facilities over the years is one of the main reasons for continuing increase in proportion of population of senior citizens. Ensuring that they not merely live longer, but lead a secure, dignified and productive life is a major challenge.
The traditional norms and values of the Indian society laid stress on showing respect and providing care for the aged. However, in recent times, society is witnessing a gradual but definite decline of the joint family system, as a result of which a large number of parents are being neglected by their families exposing them to lack of emotional, physical and financial support. These older persons are facing a lot of problems in the absence of adequate social security. This clearly reveals that ageing has become a major social challenge and there is a need to provide for the economic and health needs of the elderly and to create a social milieu, which is conducive and sensitive to the emotional needs of the elderly.
2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The main objective of the Scheme is to improve the quality of life of the Senior Citizens by providing basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and entertainment opportunities and by encouraging productive and active ageing through providing support for capacity building of State/ UT Governments/Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)/Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) / local bodies and the community at large.
Assistance under the scheme will be given to the Implementing Agencies such as State/ UT Governments /Panchayati Raj Institutions / local bodies and eligible Non-Governmental/Voluntary Organizations etc. as mentioned in Para 6, for the following purposes:-
(i) Programmes catering to the basic needs of Senior Citizens particularly food, shelter and health care to the destitute elderly;
(ii) Programmes to build and strengthen intergenerational relationships particularly between children / youth and Senior Citizens, through Regional Resource and Training Centres (RRTCs);
(iii) Programmes for encouraging Active and Productive Ageing, through RRTCs;
(iv) Programmes for proving Institutional as well as Non-Institutional Care/ Services to Senior Citizens;
(v) Research, Advocacy and Awareness building programmes in the field of Ageing through RRTCs; and
(vi) Any other programmes in the best interest of Senior Citizens.