Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: The Centre for the Welfare of the Aged (CEWA) organised a conference on the rights and needs of the low-income elderly in association with the Chennai Senior Citizens Federation here on Saturday.

Several senior citizens from slums in the city attended the meeting. The conference passed resolutions, urging the State government to reduce the age of eligibility for old age pension to 60 from 65, distribute the pension in the first week of the month rather than the last, ensure that it is paid every month . It also wanted the administration of the pension to be shifted to the Social Welfare Department from the Revenue Department.

Other resolutions, passed at the conference, include extension of the Annapurna scheme to all pensioners, reserving housing for the elderly in all housing schemes, providing mobile geriatric units, opening of geriatric wards in all medical college and district headquarters hospitals, framing a healthcare policy for the elderly, creating an Elders Welfare Board, providing transport concessions, identity cards and loan facilities and promoting self-help groups for elders.

A.R. Selvakumar, member, State Human Rights Commission, inaugurated the conference. Speaking at the valedictory, V. Suresh, president, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, underscored the need for the elderly poor to fight for their rights.