They are the most Vulnerable
Protect the elderly fight against _
There are an estimated 138 million elderly in India. By 2031, it is estimated there will be 194 million elderly. 90% of them belong to the unorganized sector and a majority have to work in order to survive.
The established practice has been of viewing and treating this demographic as dependents. HelpAge India, through our focus on elder capabilities, has brought about a signal change both in terms of perception as well as practice. Senior citizens are now being viewed as assets, rather than a strain on the economy.
To #BridgeTheGap, we began a Livelihood Support program. To secure sustainable income generation for the elderly, we pioneered the Elder-Self-Help-Group (ESHG) model, mobilizing poor disadvantaged elders into ESHGs. These are further federated into village and community level institutions. Elders choose viable livelihood activities and pool their resources to support each other.
The first Elder-Self-Help Group was set up in 2005. Today, more than 1 lakh elderly have been provided social security by HelpAge, through more than 8000 Elder–Self-Help-Groups. 70% of these Groups today are now functioning independently as a sustainable income generation model. Our ESHG model has been adopted by National Rural Livelihoods Mission under the Ministry of Rural Development and by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. We are also supporting the Ministry Social Justice & Empowerment under its Action Groups Aimed at Social Reconstruction Program through a Technical Support Unit providing hand-holding and training across 15 states and is the Technical Support Agency for the National Rural Livelihoods Mission.