‘Reinstate senior citizens’ council’

Insurance woes of elders also highlighted

As senior citizens continue to face a plethora of problems induced by the pandemic, NGOs have urged the State Government to step in. Among their demands are reinstating the State Council for Senior Citizens and addressing insurance coverage for elders.

HelpAge India, which has been working in the field, has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai asking for the reinstatement of the council.

“The State Council was headed by the Minister for Women and Child Development, Director – Department of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens Empowerment and also involved representatives from NGOs and senior citizens,” the memorandum said, adding that meetings were conducted to review of welfare schemes, maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens and to ensure improving the delivery services, and appropriate recommendations for the welfare programmes for senior citizens were made to the government.

“It is regrettable that the State Council has not been functioning since the last few years. It was formed in 2007, but the implementation has not been there. We want it reinstated so that the committee can monitor schemes and recommend budget needs according to the need of the elderly,” said Prakashan M., State in-charge, HelpAge India.

With senior citizens being among the vulnerable groups as far as COVID 19 is concerned, they have also asked for extension of health insurance.

At present, it is available for seniors up to the age of 65 with a meagre extension, and this applies only to diseases which the insured person acquires after the date of the policy. “This facility does not apply to old diseases. However, most elderly need insurance facility after the age of 65 to be extended up to 85 years,” the NGO has said.

They have also asked for a separate department for senior citizens.

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