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Lending a hand: India’s best practices

Lending a hand: India’s best practices

india Updated: Nov 19, 2007 01:26 IST

Labour Fund
* To overcome the difficulty in sustaining pensions, Kerala has initiated an innovative labour fund.

* Workers can join & contribute to the growth of the fund and get benefits in health, education, recreation, water supply, burial allowance & gratuity etc.

Free Foodgrains
* A Ministry of Rural Development initiative, the Annapurna Scheme provides free food grains (wheat or rice) up to 10 kg per month to destitute persons 65 years or above who are otherwise eligible for old age pension but are not receiving it.

* From 2002-03, it has been transferred to the State Plan along with the National Social Assistance Programme comprising
the National Old Age Pension Scheme and the National Family Benefit Scheme. States have flexibility in the choice of beneficiaries and implementation of the Scheme.

Livelihood Support
* HelpAge’s income generation & microcredit schemes have helped set up 114 income-generation projects for elders
till date.

* It’s “Sponsor a Grandparent” scheme has helped form link between sponsors and old people requiring financial &
medical assistance.

Employment Exchange
*Agewell Foundations’s Eklavya campaign encourages older people to take up home tuitions & freelance chartered accountancy in their neighbourhoods.

* Dignity Foundation’s Second Careers enables old people to seek productive employment or voluntary work.

Mobile Healthcare
* HelpAge India’s mobile medical healthcare units have dispensed more than 10 lakh treatments in 2006, with many
corporate houses donating to help run these mobile clinics.

* These Mobile Medicare Units (MMU), manned by a qualified doctor, a pharmacist & a social worker, dispense free treatment & medicines to the elderly.

Interaction Centers
* Dignity Foundation’s “Chai Masti” clubs provide computer training, yoga, dance & music classes to help the elderly learn as well as interact.

* The Harmony Interactive Center in Mumbai has started a day care center for the elderly where they are engaged in activities that help improve their well being.

* Apart from setting up helplines, NGOs like Agewell Foundation send trained volunteers to assist and guide elders in their various interests.