The National Policy on Older Persons, which was announced a decade ago by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, remains on papers in many States, members of the Federation of Senior Citizens Associations of Tamil Nadu complained on Monday.
Representatives of many associations affiliated to the Federation said that the policy envisaged support to the elderly through various schemes, including healthcare and financial security. However, it is yet to be implemented in a full-fledged manner. They were speaking at a meeting organised by the Federation here.
President of the Federation D.Rajasekaran said the meeting was organised to protest against the delay in implementing the policy and discuss the demands.
The old age pension must be increased to Rs.3,000 a month from the existing Rs.400. The State government must also set up geriatric wards in government hospitals at district and taluk levels.
The elderly must also be given additional two per cent as interest on their investments.
Meetings across country
Similar meetings are being held across the country by the joint action committee of senior citizens associations, which is based in Hyderabad, he said.
Members demanded that all those aged above 60 must be provided a concession of 50 per cent in train and bus fare. At present, there is a difference in the concession available to elderly women and men in train fare. Elevators must to be provided at all the railway stations.
Secretary of the Federation S.M.Chellaswamy said representations have also been made to Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi to include all pensioners in Kalaignar Health Insurance scheme. Only those who receive annual pension up to Rs.72,000 are now eligible.
Post card campaign
A post card campaign demanding speedy implementation of the policy was also launched. The Federation would also submit memorandum to senior leaders, including the Prime Minister.