Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment01-October, 2013 17:45 IST
The President Confers First National Award for Senior Citizens - Vayoshreshtha Samman, 2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the First National Award For Senior Citizens - Vayoshreshtha Samman, 2013 on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons at a function here today.

 

Congratulating the Ministry and the awardees for their efforts and achievements on conferment of the Vayoshreshtha Samman for the first time this year the President said, “The elderly in our country are increasingly facing a variety of problems associated with modernity and growth and also the attitudinal change in social values. I am aware that the Government of India seeks to formulate and implement sound policies for their financial and food security, their health care and other vital requirements to improve the quality of their lives. Central Ministries and Departments have been co-coordinating to implement specific schemes and provide concessions and facilities in the form of income tax rebates, rail and air concessions and higher interest rates for bank deposits etc.

The enactment of “The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007” was a very positive step in the right direction. I have been informed that the Model Rules brought out by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment prescribe, in detail, the duties of the police for protecting the life and property of senior citizens.”

The President added, “This day should also be an occasion to take new initiatives. Elders, themselves, can organize themselves to collectively identify the areas where they would like Government and society to intervene and bring improvements in their lives. Senior Citizens are a vibrant resource as we move forward. There is no reason why they should not have employment opportunities and income security. Older women must, similarly, be protected from discrimination, neglect and inequalities. Today, medical advances have enabled practitioners and institutions to give better care to the elderly. I would call upon the medical fraternity to take more initiatives that further facilitate the elderly and make their visits to doctors and hospitals a pleasant experience, not a nightmare.”

Welcoming the President the Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Kumari Selja said that it is indeed a very special occasion as we have assembled here to honour some of the eminent senior citizens &Institutions of our country. In India, Older Persons have traditionally commanded respect for their authority and wisdom. The National Awards is just a humble recognition of their relentless strivings and inspiring achievements.

The Minister added that ageing poses two-pronged challenge. First is the need to ensure care and protection of the elderly so that they live a healthy, dignified and productive life. And, second, the older people must be looked at as partners in progress rather than a burden on society. To address this issue of ageing in a comprehensive manner the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP) in 1999 to ensure active and productive ageing by evolving a framework of providing financial, medical, social and emotional support.

The Minister further added that the foundation of the new policy, “National Policy for Senior Citizens 2011” is based on several factors. These include the demographic explosion among the elderly, the changing economy and social milieu, advancement in medical research, science and technology and high levels of destitution among the elderly rural poor. This policy addresses issues concerning senior citizens living in urban and rural areas, special needs of the “oldest old‟ and older women.

The Ministry has taken a number of pro-active steps to safeguard the interest of the rights of the elderly:

 It has enacted “The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007”. The Act essentially aims at creating an enabling mechanism to make the claim for maintenance simpler, speedier and affordable.

The Ministry is also making concerted efforts to ensure that the lives of the older persons become more comfortable. The grant-in-aid scheme called the "Integrated Programme for Older Persons" extends grants to NGOs for supporting old age homes, day care centres and mobile medi-care units.

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment launched the Project ‘NICE’ (National Initiative on Care for Elderly). This is implemented through National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), an autonomous body of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in 2000. This programme supports developing skilled caregivers for the elderly.  A frontline cadre of caregivers to ensure quality care at home as well as in the institutions is one of the important strategies set out for future.

National programme for Health care of Elderly (NPHCE) has been formulated and implemented in the country through the ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The major objectives of the NPHCE include provision of dedicated health care facilities for elderly at various levels of State healthcare delivery system.

The Home Ministry has issued advisory to State Governments to pay special attention to security to the life and property of older persons.The measures include having a senior citizen security scheme in place in all police stations which will have senior citizen cell, toll free help line and the interactive website to monitor the old. The financial security measures for senior citizens are being implemented by the Center, State government departments and financial institutions in form of pensions, insurances and loans. Various concessions for travel to older persons are also available.

List of Awardees:

National Award for Best Institution for Providing services to senior citizens and Awareness Generation  --  Vrudha Sevashram, Sangli, Kupwad, Near Laxmi Nagar, Kupwad Road, Sangli – 416461, Maharashtra.

National Award for Best State in implementing the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007, & providing services and facilities to senior citizens. -- Department of Social Justice, Government of Madhya Pradesh, 250, Tulsi Nagar, Bhopal  462003, Madhya Pradesh

National Award for Centenarian Senior Citizen  -- Ms. Narasamma, W/o Anjinappa, Krishnapura (V), Venkatapura Post, Pavagada Taluk, Tumkur Dist., Karnataka

National Award for Iconic Mother  -- Smt. Sindhutai Shrihari Sapkal, 1st Floor, Shivaji Complex, Near Mohintara Hospital, Hadapsar, Pune – 411028, Maharashtra.

National Award for Lifetime Achievement  -- Shri Vinodbhai Vrajlal Valia, 1701B Pushpvinod, No. 1 Pushpapark, S. V. Road, Borivali, Mumbai – 400092.

National Award for Creative Art. – Ms. Nalini Vinay Mehta, 7, Sunita Building, 238, Sion Road, Sion (East), Mumbai, Maharashtra.

National Award for Sports & Adventure Award (Male) – Dr. G. S. Randhawa, Male Athlete, C – 30, Usha Niketan, Safdarjung Development Area, New Delhi – 67.

National Award for Sports and Adventure (Female) – Mrs. Damayanti V. Tambay, #124/IV, JNU, New Delhi – 67.

Present on the occasion were Shri Porika Balram Naik, Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri Manikrao Hodlya Gavit, Minister of State for Social Justice 
& Empowerment, Shri Sudhir Bhargava, Secretary (SJE)
and other senior officials of the Ministry .

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(Release ID :99795)