An Appellate authority would be set up in Delhi to provide an opportunity to senior citizens who feel dissatisfied with the rulings of the nine tribunals already functioning in the city under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. Besides, the Delhi Government has also decided to make mandatory the inclusion of senior citizens in the District Level Police Committees.

Chairing a meeting of the newly-constituted Senior Citizens Council here on Monday, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said her Government wanted to sincerely implement the Act to ensure social security to the aged persons and to prevent denial of their maintenance by their wards. She said the Social Welfare Department has also been directed to come out with a guide-book carrying information about all facilities and opportunities being offered to senior citizens under various schemes.

Number of beneficiaries to be increased

Ms. Dikshit said the Government had also decided to increase the number of beneficiaries under Old Age Pension Schemes from 2.5 lakh to 3.5 lakh in 2010-11.

Noting that the monthly pension of Rs.1,000 for senior citizens in Delhi was the highest in the country, she said various other steps have also been initiated for their welfare including setting up of at least two senior citizens' recreation centres in each Assembly segment. Apart from this, she pointed out that Delhi Government has also been granting one-time assistance of Rs.50,000 along with monthly assistance of Rs.18,000 to the senior citizens.Ms. Dikshit said a plan of action with a five-year and annual time-frame was also being prepared for senior citizens through participation of non government organisations, and government and other agencies. Apart from this, efforts would be made for identifying and classifying senior citizens according to their age, health, family and financial condition.

The Delhi Government has also decided to put a sticker stating ‘senior citizen' on the electoral card of the elderly to ensure a separate identity for the aged persons.

As for the health facilities for the senior citizens, Ms. Dikshit said the Health Department has opened Sunday Clinics with diagnostic facilities in every Delhi Government hospital and a special desk and a nodal officer has been provided for them in all hospitals. Regarding the security needs of the senior citizens, it was stated that the Delhi Police has a Senior Citizens' Security Cell with a dedicated helpline number 1291. Also, there is a separate control room for senior citizens which provides assistance in case of medical emergency by making arrangement for an ambulance and assistance in case of any mechanical break-down. In all, 9,603 senior citizens are registered with the Delhi Police.

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