To tackle the challenge posed by increase in the population of the aged
VELLORE: “Nothing can be more precious for the aged than care extended by their kin. Therefore the system of family support for the aged should not be allowed to disintegrate,” Vellore Collector Dharmendra Pratap Yadav has said.
He was presiding over the celebrations held to mark the World Elders’ Day organised by the Department of Social Welfare at Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) Old Age Home in Poigai near here on Wednesday.
Mr. Yadav said old age homes in Japan have excellent facilities, which helped inmates learn computer operations, structural engineering, gardening, dance and golf. Japan provides special emphasis on taking care of the old as the percentage of the aged there is much higher compared to India. The percentage of the aged in India would be 15 per cent in 2015 and 20 per cent in 2025. “This is a big challenge and has to be tackled in a systematic manner. There should be a State-level policy for the aged.”
Another old age home would soon be started in Vellore district, he added.
G. Viswanathan, Chancellor of VIT University, said government servants should be given training to work even after retirement. Once they cross the age of 50, they get obsessed with retirement and lose interest in their work. Their experience can be properly exploited for developing the country, he said.
The education system should instil a sense of responsibility in the children and make them take care of the elders of their family. This would ensure that they do not abandon their parents later in their lives. T.M. Vijayaraghavalu, vice-president of IRCS, Vellore branch, wanted self-contained residential colonies for the aged on the lines of the government’s ‘samathuvapurams.’ These colonies should have hospitals, community centres and other facilities, he said.
Ratna Natarajan, former Lions District Governor, said problems associated with old age could be avoided if people plan their lives properly. One-third of the people above the age of 40 have diabetes. People could avoid diabetes by staying away from worries, tension and anger, he said.
Saroja Thiruvengadam, District Social Welfare Officer, Vellore, said eight old age homes in Vellore district have been registered with the Department of Social Welfare.