M.V.Ruparelia, A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park,
Mira Road (East) Dist. Thane. 401107. M. 09821732855. E/Mail: email@example.com
To Date: 28-7-11.
Dr. M. Veerappa Moily, Hon. Minster for Corporate Affairs,
Shastri Bhawan, Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi-110001.
Sub: National Policy for Older Persons, 1999- Guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility.
It is gratifying to note that Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified comprehensive revised Guide Lines for Corporate Social Responsibility in this month of July, 2011, keeping in view the feed back received on earlier Guide Lines of 2009. Though due to some error in putting these Guidelines in Ministry`s Web Site, many pages are blank, it is observed that there are no specific guide lines to Corporate World for utilizing CSR Funds for Welfare of our most disadvantaged Elders. NPOP, 99 lays down that all endowments including Corporate World, Trusts, Charities, and Religious Organizations will be encouraged to extend their areas of concern to provide services to the Elderly by involving them on various ageing issues. Senior Citizens form almost 10% of the total population of the Country- 37% is Below Poverty Line and more than 33% belong to Lower Income Group and the financial position of these 70% is very fragile and needs help of Corporate World. This is all the more necessary, as various Central Ministries and most of the States including our Most Progressive State of Maharashtra have miserably failed to implement many of the provisions of National Policy of Older Persons, 1999 even after 12 YEARS! The entire Senior Citizen Community & their Organizations have declared 16th August, 11 as `Solidarity Day` for awakening Central & State Governments to look after their Elders. UNO is also watching the progress and forcing the Governments to implement the provisions of Madrid Declaration to which India is also a party.
Corporate World should be advised to use the major portion (if not, at least 10%) of their CSR Funds on their most neglected Elders, who without their fault but due to ageing and social environment face health and financial problems. The following aspects may be considered for utilization of CSR Funds by all concerned:-
i) Let Corporate World adopt needy Senior Citizens of an Area and help other Senior Citizens through C.S.R.: There are many Senior Citizens, who are facing financial problems and some are not able to meet two ends meet. Big Corporate Houses can adopt an area of their choice after surveying the number & need of such Senior Citizens. Such elders can be given their monthly requirements of food, clothes and very essential necessities. Their services can be utilized in some way, as possible. They should also look after their own retired employees and provide them proper facilities, as a welfare measure.
ii) They should create a Health Welfare Fund. Provide Convalescent Homes, Holiday Homes, Day Care Centres etc. Provide health care facilities in Vrudhashrams.
iii) They should provide opportunities for second careers and activity centres to keep them active. Provide Machinery to utilize and maintain their mental health by holding competitions by way of Essay writing, Quiz, Brain Storming Sessions etc at District, State & Centre level periodically on subjects of social & national interest to get views & guidance from Think-Tank of the Nation. Fix quota for their retired employees for nomination in their Advisory Committees.
iv) They should create health awareness literature for preventive measures & healthy life style and make them easily available.
v) All private hospitals given free land or special concessions by Govt must treat Senior Citizens free or at concessional rate and beds earmarked, in addition to quota fixed in the Trust Act.
vi) Corporate sector, Trusts, Associations of Doctors, Associations of Chemists etc should set apart certain funds for medical treatment of needy Senior Citizens and give medicines at concessional rates. Adoption of certain number of needy Senior Citizens for periodical treatment, supply of medicines, necessary vitamins etc by such parties will go a long way to meet with health problems of needy Senior Citizens.
vii) In CSR Guidelines pertaining to employees, every Corporate Body, Business House and if possible, every Employer should be advised to provide health facilities to all their surviving retired employees and their spouses on par with serving employees. They must raise the pension, where it is paid, on every revision of pay-scale of the post on which the employee had retired on the same principle, as envisaged by Supreme Court and accepted by Vth Pay Commission for Central & State Govt Retired Employees. Where pension is not payable, ex-gratia pension, as paid to Govt Employees retired on SRPF, should be paid to all surviving retired employees/spouses. This will give immediate relief to large number of retired persons and it will not be a financial burden on Employers in the booming economy.
viii) Corporate Houses, Big industrialists, Trusts, Municipality etc should provide Special Housing Colonies, Day Care Centres, Vrudhashram, Convalescent Home, Holiday Home etc in the locality of their working with active partnership in management of NGOs of the area.
We shall be thankful, if necessary action to advise all Public-Private Sector Corporate Houses and all those concerned with utilization of CSR Funds are advised suitably to provide help to Elders in various respects.
A line in reply in terms of para 66 of Office Manual will be very much appreciated.