To Date: 24-7-12.
Shri Kapil Sibalji,
Hon. Minister for Human Resource Development,
Government of India, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi 110001.
Sub: Education and Recognition of 12 crore Elders as Resource & Think-Tank of the Country.
Ref: Various Provisions in National Policy of Older Persons, 1999.
1. We are very much impressed by your enthusiastic actions in reforming the Education System and bringing RTE Act and monitoring the progress of Educational systems in the entire Country. You have taken several path breaking reforms in the education sector. The historic guarantee of the right to free elementary education became a reality under your stewardship. This enactment has the potential to unleash the latent energies of the children of India. Higher education has also seen a significant overhaul in its governance and regulatory structures. As the essence of Human Resource Development is education, which plays a significant and remedial role in balancing the socio-economic fabric of the Country, we, the Senior Citizens of the Country look towards you, one of us being 64, for taking very early suitable action to implement various provisions in NPOP, 99 pertaining to your Ministry for unleashing our potential for benefit of Society and Country.
2. Para 93 of the Policy directs each Ministry to implement the aspects concerning them by preparing Five Year and Annual Action Plan with targets. Para 18 of the Policy envisages that age 60+ is a phase, when individual should have chances and opportunities to lead an active, creative, productive and satisfying life. For this, paras 55 to 58 of Policy lay down detailed guidelines and directives to meet the education, training and information needs of Elders. Open Universities are expected to develop packages using distance education learning techniques. Educational curriculums at all stages of formal and non-formal education have to incorporate material to strengthen inter-generational bonds etc. Let Good Institutes open their doors and give as many facilities as possible to Senior Citizens for passing time usefully in their crucial phase of life. They will be useful to the Institute & the Society with their varied experience in various fields. No action appears to have been taken on these specific paras concerning your Ministry for last 13 years.
3. Para 78 of Policy recognizes Senior Citizens as huge untapped resource for which facilities are to be made available to use their potentiality as per their choice. Special programmes are required to be designed, so that they can enrich and update their knowledge, integrate tradition with contemporary needs and transmit more effectively the Socio-Cultural heritage to school children and youths. As per para 81, programmes are to be developed to promote family values, sensitize the young on the necessity & desirability of inter-generational bonding and continuity of meeting filial obligations of children. As per para 83, Medical colleges and research institutions are required to set up centres of gerontology studies and geriatrics. An inter-disciplinary coordinating body with national status for research for gerontological issues, sensitization programmes on ageing etc is to be established. There are large number of paras in which your Ministry has to take initiative and take very early action.
4. We request you to create vast avenues for useful utilization of this ever increasing vast resource of Senior Citizens as laid down in Policy. As you know, idle mind is devil`s workshop and having no such avenues for utilization, large number of Senior Citizens abuse themselves. A person retires from service, he feels he has done a lot and now deserves rest! He rests and does not remain active, resulting in deteriorating health & connected problems! He abuses himself!! He develops inertia of doing nothing. He feels, he need not waste his energy, which requires to be preserved at this age! He forgets that we have unlimited energy and even in active life, we have used a very small % of our energy. He forgets that majority of our Ministers are Senior Citizens working enthusiastically for welfare of masses. In old age also, we have unlimited energy and the Principle is ``USE IT OR LOOSE IT. As older persons constitute an ever-increasing proportion of the total population, they have the potential to become more inﬂuential politically, economically and socially. Fulﬁlling this potential would be in line with the objectives of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, which are to ensure that people age with security and dignity and continue to participate fully in their societies as citizens with full rights. We have to provide some honorary or paid work to all as per their qualification, inclination and timings etc. We have to lay down an humane Policy for utilization of very large portion of our citizens, who will be 20% of the population shortly by 2050 and if allowed to idle for long life of 30-40 years after retirement, there would be insurmountable problem for the Society & Country.
5. We have large number of intelligent officers and staff in your Ministry and thinkers in the Country, who can suggest such avenues for utilization of our Elders. You may like to get their views and create a Policy with avenues for Elders. e.g. We can consider part time jobs like (i) monitoring some 5 schools by a senior citizen in his near about area for moral lessons to students etc (ii) Appointments on Advisory Committees of Municipality, supervising civic facilities, gardens, gyms, temples, encroachment on footpaths etc (iii) Looking after welfare activities of Corporate Houses under CSR funds utilization (iv) Government programmes like teaching adults, street children, Family Planning, polio drops, drug abuse, respect for women, census, elections, help in law and order situations etc (v) Visits to Hospitals, Old Men Homes. (vi) Counseling & helping needy Senior Citizens etc.
6. With your dynamic personality & tact of handling all situations very efficiently, we are sure that you will do needful quickly, sincerely and set an example on all Ministries by becoming First to completely implementing National Policy concerning your Ministry.
7. We request you to give us reply in terms of para 66 of Office Manual for this request, indicating your plan of action.