Tamil Nadu

Elderly resource centres to be opened based on study of Nobel laureate

Esther Duflo conducts study and comes up with suggestion

The State government has decided to open elderly resource centres as a pilot project in at least two places in all 37 districts. The initiative, announced in the Budget on Friday, was based on the findings of the research done by a team led by Nobel Prize-winner Esther Duflo.

The study was conducted as part of Tamil Nadu government’s collaboration with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Ms. Duflo and her husband Abhijit Banerjee, with whom she shared the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2019, are co-founders of J-PAL.

Sources in the Social Welfare Department, which will be implementing the project, said the intention was to improve the emotional well-being of senior citizens. The resource centres would not be homes for the elderly to stay, but more like day care centres, an official from the department said.

Although the findings of the longitudinal survey done by J-PAL on issues related to the elderly have not been formally released yet, the official said a key finding was that loneliness and the feeling of being not loved or unwanted were common among the elderly even if they were living with their families.

“Because of societal changes, elderly people are not finding avenues for people of their age to meet and interact. We expect the resource centres to serve this purpose, where they can come to read, interact with others or do other such activities,” the official added. Periodic medical check-ups, consultation by dieticians and geriatricians are likely to be conducted in these centres. A total of ₹37 lakh had been allocated to set up these centres in two blocks in each of the 37 districts. Based on the learnings and outcomes of this pilot project, the initiative can be expanded in its scope and reach, sources said.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:22:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/elderly-resource-centres-to-be-opened-based-on-study-of-nobel-laureate/article30825363.ece

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