Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Wednesday announced a series of incentives for senior citizens, including institution of State level awards, identity cards, 50 per cent bus fare concession to women above 60 years of age in Haryana Roadways buses, setting up of senior citizens’ clubs, distribution of free spectacles to those below the poverty line and implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act to ensure their security.

Addressing a function at Panchkula near here to mark the International Day of Senior Citizens, he asserted that it was the endeavour of his regime to make senior citizens feel secure.

Foundation for club

Laying the foundation stone of a building for Senior Citizens’ Club in Sector 25 of Panchkula, he added that similar clubs would be set up in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Sonepat and Hisar. A grant of Rs.5 lakh would be provided each year to such clubs to enable them to provide facilities of a reading room, dispensary and indoor games as well as furniture for senior citizens. These would be managed by a registered society under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr. Hooda disclosed that the identity cards would be provided from January 1, 2009, to help the senior citizens avail of various concessions. All women above 60 years of age would be entitled to concessions in bus fare from November 1 this year.

The Chief Minister also launched a new scheme known as Senior Citizens’ Voluntary Services Network to provide an opportunity to the senior citizens to offer their services for social work. All those who register themselves for rendering voluntary service would be known as “Karmayogis”.

Awards presented

Mr. Hooda also gave away two State level awards, each comprising Rs.1 lakh in cash and a certificate, to 112-year-old Chhano Devi of Mitathl village in Bhiwani district and Bhagwan Das Grover of Karnal.