Idea is to supplement welfare efforts of the State

In an effort to supplement the State's old age pension scheme, Dhan Foundation's People Mutuals, along with World Granny and Pension and Development Work of The Netherlands, is working on a pilot project to introduce a micro pension scheme for the poor.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Caroline Van Dullemen of World Granny said that the idea was to supplement the already existing welfare efforts of the State with this complementary programme. “The idea is to give the older generation a better life,” she said.

Ms. Caroline also shared that the experiences of working in the micro pension sector among the aged in The Netherlands would be utilised with various models. She also said that the demographic transitions that happened across the world both in developed and developing nations called for an increased support for taking care of the elderly.

M.P. Vasimalai, executive director, Dhan Foundation, said that the Old Age Pension, which was being given to persons above 65 years of age and belonging to below the poverty line households, needed to be supplemented and this micro pension scheme would help to evolve a model for the poor.

Dhan has conducted survey among 25 federations of self-help groups and has chosen 10 federations for the implementation of the pilot project. Among the ten, six are in Tamil Nadu, two in Andhra Pradesh and one each in Karnataka and Puducherry.

The pension scheme products would have a minimum contribution of Rs.300 and a maximum of Rs.750 and the amount had been calculated keeping in mind the inflation, he said. The official launch of the scheme is scheduled on Wednesday at Sanarpatti in Dindigul. The pilot project will be run for a period of five years. Based on its results the scheme would be adopted gradually.

Jacques Van Der Horst, Anna Timmermans and Jos Van Ophem of World Granny and Pension and Development Work and S. Balasubramanian, People Mutuals were among the others who spoke.