Wednesday, March 24, 2010

National Policy of Older Persons,99- Letter to Review Committee.

To                                                                                             Date: 17-3-2010.

Member Secretary & Joint Secretary (SD),

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment,

Government of India, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110001.

Dear Sir,

Sub: Meeting on 19-3-10 for Reviewing the National Policy of Older Persons, 1999.

Ref: Your letter no. F.No.15-40(2)/09-10/AG II dt 11-3-10 received on 15-3-10.

In continuation of my letter dt 18-12-09 to Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment by name, I give the following suggestions for discussion on 19-3-10.

With the expected abnormal increase of elderly population in the coming decades, if we do not take proper steps immediately in right spirit, there will be large crowds of uncontrollable and uncared for elders roaming about on roads (more in number than stray dogs/cows/buffalos etc seen on roads

to-day) with Alzheimer, Dementia and many age related diseases difficult to manage for the Society & the Government. On the other hand also, if Science’s Dream Girl promising Eternal Youth by changing genes, using stem cells & magic pill for food & medicines etc come to our shore at affordable/subsidized/free cost, there will be crowds of youthful elders roaming for work/employment. In view of this likely grave situation of very large elder population in coming decades, it is necessary that immediate steps are taken to face this likely situation in right earnestness by all stake holders by making proper budget provisions regularly every year.

The present state of non-implementation of Policy,99 is mainly due to rigid thinking of Nodal Ministry that Policy is for guidance only and of other Ministries that the subject of NPOP,99 is not for them but only for Nodal Ministry and States/UTs not bothering much for their elders. This position must be removed by clearly bringing out in the Policy as to what action is to be taken by whom and bringing the provisions of para 93 of the Policy in II-National Policy Statement after para23. The position of very large elder population with large number of ailments and problems should be empathetically brought out with latest Demographic Trends in Implication portion of the Policy in para 7 to 11. Each Stake Holder should be asked to give action taken by them on each para and should be put up to Committee for appreciation of the existing position after 11 years and to propose further action on each para.

Immediate issues concerning Senior Citizens requiring prompt action are as under:-

i) For payment of IGNOAP (Pension), the concept that Senior Citizens must belong to BPL family must be abolished. The Pension of Rs 1000 should be paid to all Senior Citizens having income of less than Rs 2000 p.m.; Pension of Rs 750 to all having income less than 4000 p.m.; Rs 1000 to all women Senior Citizens, whether widow or married. Those above 80 must be given 20% extra every 5 years. All must be given dearness relief every 6 months. Insurance cover to BPL Senior Citizens belonging to unorganized sector should be extended to all Senior Citizens of 60 and above and cover should be more than 30000.

ii) To avoid/reduce the cases of various diseases and to enable Senior Citizens to lead Active Life, the Senior Citizens should be provided with avenues of avoiding loneliness and keeping engaged in hobbies, profession etc. The scheme of Day Care Centers and other Schemes laid down in Integrated Programme are the main avenues for keeping Senior Citizens fit & engaged. Leaving to NGOs etc to provide such facilities may not bring desired results within desired time. This responsibility with targets & number of each scheme for each district/ward etc can be fixed and given to Municipalities/Panchayats with time bound plan of action, as done for one Old Man’s House in each district by State/UT Government in Welfare & Maintenance Act, if necessary by separate legislation or including this in Maintenance & Welfare Act. Such Schemes for all Senior Citizens at all places as per fixed scale will act like preventive steps to help Senior Citizens from various diseases created due to loneliness.

iii) Sufficient avenues for second career and/or utilization on honorarium basis of Senior Citizens, who are the Think Tank of the Country and experienced must be laid down in the Policy, with large number of income generating schemes.

iv) Nothing is done all these years for providing proper health services. The proposed comprehensive National Programme for Health Care of elderly at primary, secondary & tertiary level must be scrutinized by the Committee and time bound action plan laid down in Policy. The existing facilities by Central/State & Municipal/Panchayat should be made free and improved considerably & brought to Private Hospital level and para-medical staff and doctors given training periodically to treat & behave kindly with elders. Private Hospitals must be forced to give free & concessional treatment, as provided in Public Trust Act. An Ombudsman Organization like IRDA should be constituted for whole Medical Business including production & supply of medicines. Standard Price List for various pathological, surgery etc processes should be laid down for different areas & different types of hospitals. Affordable medical treatment without any hurdles should be available for all Senior Citizens. Affordable Health Insurance with subsidized premium for low & middle income group should be provided for all ages without exclusion of existing diseases. Recommendations of Sastry Committee, as accepted by IRDA should be got incorporated in Policy and got acted upon..

v) All retired employees from Government Departments as well as Public & Private Sector must be provided all facilities like pension, medical, use of Welfare Centers, Libraries etc after retirement also by the erstwhile employers, as available to serving employees.

vi) Senior Citizens not getting Pension but surviving on interest income are hit very adversely due to dwindling interest rates & unmanageable dearness and require some help to maintain, if not earlier working time standard but atleast some standard. A scheme of higher interest must be provided in the Policy. New Tax Law is adversely affecting Senior Citizens and Policy may provide some protection.

vii) Monitoring Machinery to get progress of action taken at local level, State level & Central level should be laid down. (Para 93-94). Formation of NAOP (Para 95) at various levels by fixing targets is a must and such Associations will not only monitor the progress but also bring the requirements etc of Senior Citizens to the notice of concerned Public & Private Stake Holders. Permanent Negotiating Machinery at various levels and Joint Consultative Committee at Centre level should be laid down in Policy. All such Associations must be provided with circulars/instructions/information pertaining to Senior Citizens by all Government Departments to keep their members aware of what is happening. NCOP is not functioning properly. Constitution and working system for NCOP should be included in Policy. In absence of NAOP and recognized Associations at various levels, information about good work done by Government and benefits given does not reach at grass route levels. Again, in absence of proper Monitoring System for non-Government Stake Holders like Media, Trusts, Corporate World, Bollywood etc, no one either issues instructions or monitors the work done by these stake holders. Proper Machinery for this should be laid down in Policy.

viii) Unless Media is actively involved in this likely position of very large population of Senior Citizens in coming decades and their problems, nothing much can be achieved. Policy must lay down in clear terms the expectations of Senior Citizens from media and who will liaison with Media.

ix) Housing Schemes for Senior Citizens with medical facilities and common kitchen should be provided on rental basis with number of flats/tenements in each ward/district on programme basis in addition to sufficient number of Vrudhashrams free and paying. Reservation of fixed percentage for Senior Citizens in all Government housing schemes must be statutorily provided. Holiday Homes, Convalescent Homes should be provided at various places by giving targets. Concession/facilitation in transport facilities, hotels etc by Public & Private Sector including Travel Agencies are necessary for change in atmosphere, pilgrimage, trips etc. Entertainment for Senior Citizens is also must for maintaining good health and Cinema Houses are also required to look after their elders. Special drama/cinema on topics pertaining to Senior Citizens will help in creating healthy & happy atmosphere.

x) Welfare Fund for Senior Citizens by each Stake Holder must be provided with procedure for budget provision, donations & use of such fund. Central & State Welfare Funds must be provided for various welfare schemes & help to Senior Citizens.

Thanking You,

Yours Sincerely,


Copy forwarded along with copy of my letter dt 18-12-09 to Smt. Mohini Giri, Chair Person of the Committee.

A New Vrudhashram.

Anand Ashram. M.V.Ruparelia.

A new Vrudhashram, named Anand Ashram for Senior Citizens has come up just 67 km from Mumbai at Vajreshwari through Western Express Highway. Vajreshwari is a home town of religion and popular for its `Hot Springs`. Amongst this natural & pious atmosphere, a campus for Senior Citizens with temples of Ram, Saibaba & Jalaram is built with neat & clean Bhojanalaya, Gaushala (Cow Shed), Medical Centre, Recreation Centre with various facilities including Yoga etc. Intention of the Trustees is to rejuvenate Senior Citizens and bring back their glamour & glory to life. They have made an honest attempt to create an environment for Senior Citizens, where they can spend their twilight years in comfort, dignity & freedom, they rightly deserve. There are well structured, self contained rooms along with a decent comfort level of living. A variety of rooms are available from a single, double, triple and quadruplet occupancy. Each room is esthetically furnished and offers comfortable and clean living. It is equipped with well carved furniture along with attached bathroom with geyser, shower etc with fully backed power supply. The accommodation is vast and 80 Senior Citizens can stay comfortably. As you enter the Campus, you will feel like entering a Heaven! Each room is so nice that there are no words to describe it. From terrace, you can see the Nature’s Gift to us-the greenery, the hills, the sun rise, the sun set and what not in morning & evening. A vast area of the Campus gives you liberty to enjoy walking, playing out-door games etc. Temples within the Campus are also wonderful.

As it is new one and not yet patronized by Senior Citizens, it is open for all for picnic, staying for any number of days at payment of Rs 250 per day per individual for accommodation, morning tea, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea & dinner. Free food is given to pilgrims visiting Vajreshwari on Sundays & Thursdays. If you are in a group and do not want to stay overnight, you can also visit by keeping one room for some hours. Groups of Senior Citizens can thus visit and enjoy a day’s picnic here.

The address of the Campus is as under: Jalaram Dham, Vajreshwari-Bhiwandi Road, Vajreshwari. Dist Thane-401204. Contact No. 02522-296280.

Trust’s Head Office: T.A. Chatwani Charitable Trust & Jobanputra Trust, Citi Point, Teli Gally, Andheri (East). Mumbai400069. T.No. 022-26843051/ 26838739.

Chinmaya Vibhooti.

Chinmaya Vibhuti. M.V.Ruparelia.

Chinmaya Vibhuti is a Vision Centre developed by the Central Chinmaya Trust, a leading non-profit Spiritual Organization, famous world wide for promoting India’s Cultural Heritage. This Complex is meant to keep India’s Great Son & Visionary Saint Swami Chinmayanandji`s vision ever glowing with various activities for Spiritual Development of devotees and all those desire such development through appropriate training courses & Camps. It is situated in the lap of Sahyadri Mountains at the picturesque village of Kolwan amidst the unimaginably beautiful natural surroundings, 40 km from Pune, Maharashtra (1 hour journey by road) and 135 km from Mumbai Ashram at Powai (3 hrs road journey).It is built on 70 acres of land.

It has comfortable accommodation that can house up to 900 persons in different blocks given different names with self contained rooms with hot water facility by solar system and European style toilets. It has a hygienic dining hall, called Annashri with large kitchen, where 600 persons can take meals at a time. It has 1008-capacity auditorium, called Sudharma with Bose Sound System. It has other two multi purpose seminar halls. There is a nicely built Chinmaya Maruti Mandir. There are 8 A/C Dance & Music Studios and a state of the art residential school of Indian Classical Music & Dance. Chinmaya Jeevan Darshan is worth visiting. It is a state of art permanent Exhibition depicting the life, work & teachings of Pujya Swami Chinmayanand. It`s each wall talks to you in the hearing instrument given to you, when you enter and changes the subject, when you move to other wall on the subject depicted on that wall/portion of the Hall. Chinmaya Vani is the largest book, CD & souvenir store worth seeing and purchasing. Shri Pranav Ganesh Mandir, Chinmaya medical clinic Dhanvanatri, Chilla rooms for riyaz, state of art library & recording studio, 2000 capacity ampitheater, Vedic Garden Paths, Annand Sarovar – an artificial lake with capacity of 1 crore litres of water, other halls & class rooms with AC arrangements having 45 to 200 capacity are under construction.

Camps on different subjects are held from time to time and you can join the camp by contacting the offices shown below by paying prescribed Registration Fee (generally Rs 200) and Rs 400 per day per individual for stay on sharing basis, for morning tea at 7, breakfast at 8-15, lunch at 12-45, tea at 15-30 & dinner at 8-15. Even without joining camps also, you can come & stay here for any number of days for attaining spiritual peace and happiness by advance intimation by paying daily charges and enjoy the Nature & Spiritual Presence of Chinmayanandji in the entire Complex.

Contact Details: Mumbai:09820291792 02228575806; 28572828: Contact Shri H.K.Hinduja. E/Mail:

Shri R.G. Nene, CEO, Chinmaya Vibhuti, PO Kolwan-412108. Taluka Mulshi. Dist. Pune. Mobile: 09850835474. E/