Official recognition of elderly people as ‘senior

November 30, 2010

citizens’ demanded
Human rights activists, dignitaries of the civil society, academicians and aged people on Monday demanded official recognition of elderly people as ‘senior citizens’ and the ensuring of their rights.
They made the call while addressing a consultation meeting on ‘Older persons and the achievement of Millennium Development Goals’, organized by the Resource Integration Centre.
RIC director Abul Haseeb Khan chaired the meeting and Shamsul Huda Badal presented the keynote paper.
Shamsul, quoting a recent study of the United Nations, said that the number of people above 60 years of age will outnumber those under the age of 15 years in the world within 36 years, and the number of elderly people will reach 22 per cent of the total population in 2050.
The present proportion of elderly is only 11 per cent, he said.
Elderly people’s poverty is one of the main hindrances on the way to achieving the MDGs, he said, adding that 43 per cent of the elderly people belong to poor families and often suffer discrimination in getting food, medical treatment and other services from their families.
He said that the elderly women were not included in the government and non-governmental organizations’ campaigns to eliminate gender disparity and ensure women’s empowerment, and claimed that it is not possible to achieve the MDGs if elderly women are neglected.
Shamsul said that providing old age allowance to 22.5 lakh elderly people is praiseworthy, but the lack of transparency in selecting the recipients is open to criticism.
He suggested that the rights of elderly people should be upheld in the national policies and plans, and public awareness of their rights created.
The other speakers suggested inclusion of chapters in school textbooks on showing respect to the elderly people and how to involve them in development activities.
They said that a total of 1.25 crore people of the country are elderly but are not officially recognized as ‘senior citizens’ by the state.
Media personality Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed, country director of HelpAge Bangladesh Nirjharinee Hasan, president of Women for Women Salma Khan, PKSF’s Hasan Khaled and old people’s leader Md Shahabuddin Sardar also addressed the meeting.


Courtesy of NewAge

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