IMPACTING ELDER POLICIES AND LAWS

HelpAge India works for the inclusion of concerns and rights of senior citizens in the policies of the government. To this end, it works with civil society, the judiciary, legislators and the government both at the Centre and in the various states. In this, HelpAge India also harnesses the power of over 1000 Senior Citizens’ Association with which it is in close touch.

The promulgation of The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 (click here) and the Draft National Policy for Senior Citizens, 2011 are recent successes in the Elder Rights area where the contribution of HelpAge India has been highly significant. Currently, it is actively participating in the Pension Parishad movement to secure universal old age pensions.

EMPOWERING ELDER LIVES AND LIFESTYLES

A report by the United Nations Population Fund found the number of over-60s in India will increase from around 100 million today to more than 300 million by 2050 and warned the government to prepare for the additional strain this will put on families and health and welfare services. Keeping this emerging scenario in mind, HelpAge India has launched a program to empower senior citizens in living active and healthy lives. Called the AdvantAge Program, it gives elders 3 powerful tools to achieve this. The first is the AdvantAge Card is an elder benefit facility which provides cost benefits in shopping to 1.5 lakh members at over 4000 retailers across 200 plus towns and cities. The second, AdvantAge Groups encourage elders to adopt healthy living practices by ‘getting active, staying active’. The third, the AdvantAge centres are based on groups of 5/6 members coming together in groups to serve the community through socially useful productive work, thereby keeping themselves active and mentally engaged.