Jaya Bachan, MP and veteran film star, raised a very important issue in Parliament, on the well-being and care needed for senior citizens. She said and we quote her.
“Senior citizens of India are not eligible for medical insurance after 70 years, they do not get loan on EMI. Their driving license is not issued. They are not given any work, hence they depend on others for survival. They have paid all the taxes, insurance premiums up to the age of retirement, which is 60-65. Now even after becoming senior citizens, they have to pay all the taxes. There is no scheme for them in India. 50% discount on railways/air travel, has also been discontinued. The other side of the picture is that senior citizens in politics, like MLA, MP, or Minister, are given every possible benefit and they also get pensions.
I fail to understand why all others (except some Government employees) are denied the same facilities. Imagine, if the children are not caring about them, where will they go?
Seniors have the power to change the government, don’t ignore them. They have the life long experience to change Governments. Don’t consider them weak! So many schemes are required for the benefits of seniors. The government spends a lot of money on welfare schemes, but never realizes similar schemes are also required, if not more, around senior citizens. On the contrary, the income of senior citizens is decreasing due to reduction in interest rates of banks. If some of them are getting a meagre pension to support the family and self, it is also subject to income tax. So senior citizens should be considered for some benefits:
- All citizens above 60 must be given pension.
- Everybody must be given pension as per status
- Concession in railway, bus & air travel.
- Insurance should be must for all up to the last breath and premium must be paid by the Government.
- Court cases of senior citizens must be given priority for early decision.
- Senior citizens homes in every city with all facilities should be set up.
- Govt should amend the rule of scrapping 10 -15 years old used cars. This rule should be applied only for commercial vehicles. Our cars are purchased on loan and our usage is only 40 to 50000 km in 10 yrs. Our cars are as good as new ones. If our cars are scrapped, then we must be given new cars.
Let’s hope that this government, which is sincere all the time and talks of “Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” will do some good for the betterment of those who have contributed towards nation building and are now past their prime.”
It’s an issue that concerns seniors and their families just as much! The nation must protect and make senior living an experience worthy of a caring society. It would affect different people differently; interest rates and taxes could be the first step that the government can initiate. Easy health care is another. It is basically an issue of making life as comfortable as our society can afford.