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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: 2,000 seniors raise hands for awareness

Nationwide dialogue on issues faced by senior citizens is the need of the hour, says eminent Indian scientist Vijay Bhatkar.

pune Updated: Jun 18, 2018 17:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,world elder abuse awareness day
Pune, India - June 17, 2018: Seminar world elder abuse day at Pinnyadham Aashram NIBM, Pisoli road in Pune, India, on Sunday, June 17, 2018. (Photo by Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

Urging for a countrywide dialogue on the problems faced by senior citizens, Vijay Bhatkar, eminent computer scientist of India, said that over 10 crore population of the country is above the age of 60. He was addressing a gathering of over 2,000 senior citizens, on Sunday, at an interactive session organised by the Janseva Foundation in association with the Punyadham Ashram and Senior citizens organisation of Pune in view of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, observed on June 15.

Delivering his key note address, Bhatkar said, “If the problems of senior citizens were to be solved, a nationwide dialogue on the issue is the need of the hour. Also, an attempt to create more awareness regarding this should begin from the university level by organising discussions on these issues for good impact.”

During the event aimed at encouraging the elderly to lead a better life, Bhatkar said that the very existence of these issues faced by senior citizens was very shameful.

Speaking in adulations of the programme organised for a discussion on the problems of the elderly, he said, “This is a very good initiative taken by all three organisations. Such sessions should be held every year.”

The programme in the city was organised in the city to encourage the elderly to lead a better life.

Vinod Shah who is a highly accomplished physician and the chairman of city-based NGO Janseva Foundation, said, “It is a state of sorrow that the senior citizens often fall prey to the arrogant reactions of others in the city. They are not treated respectfully.”

He added, “This programme is our attempt to create awareness about the problems that are faced by the senior citizens. We have been working for the betterment of the society and will continue to do so until we make this place a better living for our elderly people.”

Famous historian and writer Babasaheb Purandare urged all the senior citizens present in the programme to stay young forever.

Elderly residents allege PMC negligence

Expressing their anguish over the Pune Municipal Corporation’s approach towards the elderly residents of the city, many senior citizens gathered at the Punyadham Ashram, on Sunday, for an interactive seminar, said that they were being trivialised by the civic body in providing them with enough amenities.

Over two thousand senior citizens took part in the seminar to discuss issues faced by them. It was organised on account of Word Elder Abuse Awareness day, internationally observed on June 15.

Yashwant Jagtap, a member of Janseva foundation, said, “The civic authorities have failed in providing us assistance in many aspects. While the PMC has undertaken many development projects for the city, they have behaved oblivion to the problems faced by us senior citizens.”

Dilip Bankar, a member of the foundation, said, “For the many problems that we have to face, it becomes necessary for us to approach the PMC. While we go to the main building of the PMC, we do not get any assistance from the officers. Instead, the officers just ignore us.”

“There is no arrangements in place for the senior citizens in the PMC building nor are we given any attention in the PMC. If the authorities are really serious about helping us, as they claim, they should atleast create a special cell to address the issues faced by the elderly” said Bankar.

Another member of the Janseva foundation said, “While there are parks built by the PMC, the number of them is negligible compared to the number of elderly citizens in the city. Also, they are located in a select few areas in the city. The PMC should build more parks in the city.”

Sena leader questions shutting of Matoshree Vruddha Ashram scheme

Questioning the intent of the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government, Shiv Sena (SS) leader Neelam Gorhe accused the government of shutting down the Matoshree Vruddha Ashram scheme which was initiated by Shiv Sena.

Under the Matoshree Vruddha Ashram scheme, senior citizens were provided with leisure facilities, like gardening, reading rooms and arrangements to watch sports, in government-run old age homes.

Gorhe, who is also a Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) member from the city, said, “I do not understand the intent behind shutting down the Matoshree Vrudha Ashram scheme which was launched by our party. Also, what did the government achieve by taking such a decision is difficult to find out.”

The government provided social security and special assistance department with all facilities under the ‘Matoshree Vruddha Ashram’ scheme and started 23 ashrams.

“If we come to power, the first thing we will do is to restart the scheme and help numerous senior citizens lead a better life. I have been raising my voice for the senior citizens in the Assembly and will continue to do so,” added Gorhe.

“Such ashrams should be made available in all districts across the state and I will personally coordinate with the state government and will monitor all the developments,: Gorhe added.

Informing the gathering about the possible changes in the senior citizen age limit, she said, “We have often requested the state government to adopt 60 as the age at which a person is classified as senior citizen. The response from the government has been positive.”

Gorhe was speaking at a programme organised by city-based NGO Janseva Foundation in association with the Punyadham Ashram and senior citizens organisation of Pune on account of Word Elder Abuse Awareness Day which observed on June 15.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 16:50 IST