Senior citizens are a challenge and an opportunity

Mumbai:In India there are millions of senior citizens and their position in an advanced and developing country is really a sensitive issue. Government constitutes concern for the senior citizens which are not properly initiated. How should they fend for themselves and solve their problems and take concrete steps on it is the need of the hour. In Mumbai, the plight of this growing group is being addressed by a social and non-profit organisation. Manmohan Gupta, Chairman of Borivali based social organisation, ‘Gandhi Vichar Manch’ and President of Senior Citizen’s cell of Mumbai Divisional Congress Committee has demanded the government for a separate ‘Mantralaya’ – a distinct and detached cell for the senior citizens.

Manmohan Gupta says, “According to reports India hasmore than 30 crores senior citizen and there is not a single governmentaldepartment to look and understand their various and address their grievances.Just like Child Development, Women Welfare Ministry, there should also be a ministrydivision for senior citizens too. The person who retires belongs to IPSofficers, government staff, private workers, shop-keepers, businessman,journalists, teachers, bankers, army officers and others give their valuabletime and money through various taxation in their 60-years journey of life tothe country too.”

Gupta points out, “After retirement, senior citizensare treated like a garbage waste. Government can use their services in theirrespective departments for the development of the country. But it is not so…Nor there is no one to listen and understand the plight of these seniorcitizens. That is why; our organisation has come forward to demand a separatecell for the senior citizens in Mumbai. Senior citizens within a family arelike a bark of the tree with its roots firmly on the ground. The rest of thegenerations are like branches and leaves. If the tree is endangered or cut,then the whole family encircling the tree will also fall and scatter. I amreaching out to the government to make a separate Mantralaya or Ministry forsenior citizens. Just like the armed forces who get all their basic necessitiesfrom their canteen at reasonable rates, waiving of flying passengers, freemedical assistance, subsidised or free hospitalisation and others should beprovided for the seniors. I am initiating a web-site and an App for the seniorcitizens which will be launched soon. This will help in necessitating theproblems of the senior citizen and helping them out by taking concretesteps.” 

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