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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Maharashtra Governments has once again shown its apathy towards Senior Citizens Budget 2011 -12, JAC warns of state wide Agitation

Today Maharashtra has around 100 lakh Senior Citizens (60+), about 66% of whom are poor, 90% are without any social or health security and over 20% are lonely. Even after 50 years of formation of the State of Maharashtra, very little has been done by the State Government to improve the quality of life of its Senior Citizens, who during their young and adult age have played an important role in development of the State and the Country. Lot remains to be done by this progressive State of Maharashtra.

In state budget 2011 -12 Maharashtra Governments has once again shown its apathy towards its 100 lakh Senior Citizens. The state government has been continuously neglecting and ignoring its Senior Citizens. We strongly condemn the step motherly treatment towards Senior Citizens by Government of Maharashtra.

Joint Action Committee (JAC) & various Organizations have been constantly fighting for basic rights, various issues of Senior Citizens, and implementation of Senior Citizens Policy and Maintenance Act. JAC of Senior Citizens was formed by 23 Organisation/ Federations, Associations, NGO’s working for Senior Citizens to protest against continuous neglect and ignorance by the central & state government. On 16th August 2010 JAC had successfully organized a Protest Day all over India and in state of Maharashtra. This was historic occasion where all the organization working for Elderly came under one umbrella to protest against continuous neglect by both central and state government.

On behalf of Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Organization working for/with Senior Citizens we are thankful to Government of India for addressing some of the issues Senior Citizens in Budget 2011-12. In Central Government Budget 2011-12 ; Recognitions of Senior Citizens as 60 yrs and above in taxation and (IGNOAPS) Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme ; Increase in IGNOAPS for 80+; Special Category of 80yrs + for Tax slab ; Increasing Senior Citizens Income Tax exemption limit and Increasing Rail concession to male senior citizens to 40% are some welcome move. 16th August 2010 National Protest Day by Senior Citizens has played major role in addressing this issues. It has been long fight for Senior Citizens for their right and we appreciate government of India steps to address some of the issues. But we still are unhappy as only some of our demand has been met.

We request the State Government to consider the following pending demands urgently and concede them.

1. Declaration of State Policy on Senior Citizens:

Senior Citizens Organisations had jointly presented the Draft of State Policy on Senior Citizens (Older Persons) in 2002 but the State Govt, in 2004 declared a 1 ½ page State Policy, which too remains mostly unimplemented. We again met at Yashada and resubmitted the Draft to you in 2009 but no action appears to have been taken to declare the State Policy, the Union Govt, declared the National Policy on Older Persons in 1999 and it is unfortunate that even after 11 years the State does not find time to declare its State Policy. We demand to declare it immediately.

2. Formation of State Council of Senior Citizens and Commission :
For effective promotion and coordination of the concerns of Senior Citizens the Government should form a State Council of Senior Citizens under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Social Justice with representatives from concerned Govt. Departments and representatives of prominent Senior Citizens Federation, Organizations, NGO’s working for Senior Citizens (list of some of them is attached), Social Science Institutions and Media, as members. A State Commission for Senior Citizens should be established for implementation of the State Policy all over the State and also implementation of Acts like Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act and other Policy and Acts concerning the Senior Citizens.

3. Implementation of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act :
The Parliament adopted the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act in 2007 and it was expected to be implemented within one year. We appreciate the state government effort to frame the rule, but still Tribunals have to be formed and Act needs to be fully implemented. We demand the Act should be fully implemented all over the State immediately and to include Senior Citizens organisation in the Tribunals.

4. Establishment of Multi-Service Day Care Centers:

To remove loneliness, to utilize their spare time for useful social activities and for improvement in physical and mental health, Senior Citizens need Multi-Service /Disciplinary Day Care Centers in all Cities, towns, and large villages. Some Municipal Corporations like Pimpri – Chinchwad and Navi Mumbai have created such Day Care Centers and handed them over to local Senior Citizens Associations to conduct. The Govt should make provisions so that all Municipal Corporations, Municipalities and Panchayats, provide Day Care Centers and Recreation centers in all parts of the State. We also demand to make provision to start Dementia Day centers at Municipal Corporations, Municipalities and District and Taluka level.

5. Representation On Anudan Samities:

The State Govt has Schemes like Shravan Bal Yojana, Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Anudan Yojana, Indira Gandhi Niradhar Bhoomiless, Vidhawa Mahila Anudan Yojana, etc. for giving pension to poor Senior Citizens. But in many places the needy Citizens do not get the pension. We request that representative of Senior Citizens Organizations and NGO’s should be included in these Anudan Samitees as an unofficial member.

6. Health Insurance For all Senior Citizens – BPL & APL:

Health Care is very vital necessity of all Senior Citizens but Health Care costs are so high that they cannot afford to have Health Insurance. We request that Rashtriya Swasthya Vima Yojana of the State should be modified to cover the middle class Senior Citizens with the BPL families and give them Health Insurance cover. The APL (Above Poverty Line) Senior Citizens would be able to pay moderate premium for such Insurance Cover.

7. Give Benefits to 60+ Seniors (Not 65+):
Central Government in Budget 2011-12 has define Senior Citizens as 60+ .The State and the gives financial benefits to them (Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension, ST bus fare concession, etc.) only at 65 years. This is unjust. Please give all facilities at 60+ and don’t make them wait for five years further. Make Uniform age of 60+ to address Senior Citizens in all government schemes.

8. Improvement For Vriddhashrams:

The condition of most of Old Age Homes in the State is far from satisfactory. The Govt should appoint a Regulatory Authority for implementing and monitoring minimum norms/standards of service in all Vriddhashrams. Senior Citizens organization is prepared to fully cooperate with the Govt for improving the standard of Old Age Homes in the State.

9. Concession in Transport:

We demand 50% concession on all state and city transport buses for Senior Citizens who are 60+.

10. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension amount has been raised by central government; we demand state govt. to increase its contribution for the same, including people staying in old age homes.

11. District and Municipal hospitals should have a special Geriatric Ward with latest facilities and PHC should provide special attention to Elderly.

12. Decent old age homes with Public-Private mode for the benefit of seniors at reasonable charges should be promoted.

13. Free Home for Destitute should be established in all districts.

14. Declaration of Comprehensive policy on Dementia and Alzheimer’s

15. We demand Special attention/schemes/programmes for Rural Elderly, Tribal Elderly, Transgender Elderly , Destitute Elderly, Women Elderly and 80 + population

16. We demand all Municipal Corporation should have separate department for Senior Citizens

We also request civil society to support the Voice of our Elders for their basic rights as citizens of the Sate.

We hope the Government of Maharashtra will take due note of this demands and help Senior Citizens to have a happy evening of their life.

Posted by Sailesh Mishra,Coordinator on behalf of Joint Action Committee of Senior Citizens at Press meet ,TISS ,Mumbai : 26th March 2011

Senior Citizens National Protest Day, Mumbai/Maharashtra Supporting Organization
16th August 2010

3. International Longevity Center - India
4. Silver Inning Foundation
5. Harmony for Silvers Foundation
6. Shree Ramanugrah Trust
7. GIC Pensioners Association
8. The Family Welfare Agency
9. General Insurance Pensioners, All India Federation
10. Brihan Mumbai Pensioners Association
11. All India Bank Retirees Federation
12. Jeevan Adhar Seva Sanstha
13. Dignity Foundation
14. Help Age India
15. Indian Federation of Ageing
16. All India Retired Reserve Bank Employee Association
17. MTNL Pensioners Workers Associations
18. All India Central Government Pensioners Association
19. Brihan Mumbai Retired Employees Association
20. All India Retired Insurance Employees Federation
21. Alzheimer’s Related Disorder Society of India (ARDSI) , Greater Mumbai Chapter
22. Center for Life Long Learning , TISS
23. 1298 Senior Citizens Helpline

Saturday, March 26, 2011

New age of enlightenment

Bill Thomas, the charismatic head of a global organisation dedicated to transforming care homes, tells Mark Gould what set him on his mission to eliminate the loneliness, helplessness and boredom that so often blights later life.

The twinkling eyes, full-on fuzz of beard and good-humoured, impassioned conversation are reminiscent of Hollywood actor Robin Williams in full messianic mode. But Bill Thomas is no actor. He is a charismatic social entrepreneur and Harvard-educated authority on geriatric medicine and elder care. And his mission is to save us all from an old age blighted by the tedium, loneliness and over-medication that he says sums up much conventional "care".

His Eden Alternative, a global not-for-profit organisation that teaches how to de-institutionalise care homes, was established in 1991. It has 15,000 affiliate trainers covering the UK, Europe, Australia and Japan, with close on 300 care homes having been given the Eden treatment. The organisation's motto is "eliminating loneliness, helplessness and boredom" - a message that couldn't be more timely, with a report out yesterday from the newly-merged older people's charity, Age Concern and Help the Aged, highlighting the isolation, poverty and lack of care and support facing millions of older people in the UK.

Thomas, who qualified from Harvard as a medical doctor, has just visited the UK to share ideas with policymakers and the care industry, as a guest of the Anchor Trust, the largest not-for-profit provider of housing, support and care in England.

But is it really possible to transform care, however well-intentioned, into some leafy gerontopia?

There is a pause before Thomas responds passionately: "It's not impossible. What's happening is the greatest ageing adventure in the history of humankind. The old are succeeding as they never have before. But here's the kicker: we have got to invent a new old age. The baby boomer generation aren't going to sit still and accept the sort of 19th-century elder care around now. In years to come, people will compare the way we care for the old to the way we look at the slave trade."

But the size of the task is daunting. In the UK, for example, it is predicted that there will be 15 million over-65s by 2030 - outnumbering teenagers two to one. And as western society ages, more and more people will be diagnosed with dementia. So where do we start?

The Thomas approach begins by changing the minds of care managers. He says: "I don't deal with bad people, I deal with bad systems. You need to change the relationship between management and staff. Too often, management is focused on tasks that they feel need to be done, almost losing sight of the people and creating a culture characterised by pessimism, cynicism and stinginess." Moving decision-making closer to the people who live in these homes improves their quality of life, he adds.

Laughter and light

Four years ago, Thomas received a $10m (£6.75m) charitable donation to develop a network of 50 Green House elder care homes across the US, turning the "medical model" of nursing home care on its head. The homes are small-scale, for six to 10 residents, and instead of the sterile touch of wipe-clean furniture and the ominous rumble of the drug trolley, he says, there is "laughter and light", as well as gardening, animals and regular visits from children.

Homes that have had an Eden makeover often report improved staff satisfaction and retention, and significant decreases in the use of medication and restraints. "Most importantly, elders, supported by their care-givers, can once again direct their own daily lives," Thomas says.

Eden Alternative UK and Ireland, based in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, has a network of regional trainers. The basic course for managers costs around £500, and it takes some 18 months for a home to be given a complete Eden turnaround.

Change also makes business sense. "Any upfront costs - for example, for staff education - are recovered through improved operations and better quality," Thomas says. And his homes save on the cost of medication. Recent analysis by the Institute for Public Health in the US showed that the bill for treating the side-effects of medication for elderly people was equal to the bill for the original medicine. So why do doctors turn older people into pill-popping patients? "Because we think ageing is a disease. It's not; it's a normal part of human development."

Thomas's trip to the UK involved visits to Anchor homes and meetings with Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow, co-chair of the parliamentary group on ageing and older people, Jeff Jerome, national director for social care transformation, and representatives of the social care industry and its regulators. He believes that the UK dementia strategy, with its promise of high street memory clinics and increased awareness, early intervention and support for carers, is a "good first step".

Dementia, alongside loss of continence, is one of the main reasons why people are put in care homes, but Thomas insists that institutionalisation can also be defeated by extending schemes that allow older people and carers to hold budgets and choose their own services. For example, the Anchor Trust is helping people to stay at home longer - a theme that Eden is also developing.

Thomas speaks passionately of the need to restore the social worth of older people. "We lose a lot when the elderly are segregated," he says. "These are people who can influence young people; they have experiences and terrific insights to share. There is a social obligation of the young to the old. It's not in the DNA, but it's part of the culture. If you don't transfer that obligation to every generation, it will be lost."

He also approves of the "mixing" that already takes place in some forward-thinking UK care homes, such as Shaftesbury Lodge in the East End of London, where medical students live next door to older people - socialising with and learning from each other. Songs and tales from the Blitz are swapped with computer and iPod tutorials.

Mixed communities

So where are older people still cherished? "The typical answer is in a tribal society, but I am not interested in living in a tribal society," Thomas replies. "Of the modern industrial societies, Scandinavia does the best job. Its planners and architects build with mixed communities in mind."

It could all have been so different for Thomas. On graduation, he was set for a high-flying career in emergency medicine. But a stop-gap job at a local nursing home changed the course of his life, and the lives of many others.

"I was called to see a woman with an arm rash," he recalls. "I said that the rash was easy to treat, but there was something else on her mind. She pulled me close and said: 'I am so lonely.'

"It struck me that nothing in the medical texts could help, so I thought about creating a better place for humans to live, not just to die."


Friday, March 18, 2011

Donate to Silver Inning Foundation :NGO of Senior Citizens

If you feel we have done justice to the cause of Senior Citizens and made difference to life of our Elders and if you would like to support our effort to work with our Elders, please donate to the ‘Silver Inning Foundation’ to help us expand our network and for our outreach programme/services to our Elders.

Donation Payment Options:

1) People outside India ,in foreign currency may Pay by Credit Card/Debit Card through their Pay Pal Account: to 'Sailesh Mishra ' at sailesh2000@gmail.com .

2) People in India can Pay by Cheque / Demand Draft / Bankers Cheque : Please send a Cheque /Demand Draft in favour of ‘Silver Inning Foundation’ accompanied by a covering letter and with your Name, Postal Address, Contact No., Email and PAN Number To : at our Correspondence Address: Silver Inning Foundation, C/o. Sailesh Mishra, ARENA III, Flat - 801/802, Poonam Garden, Mira Road -East, Mumbai. India – 401107. You can also send your query to: silverinnings@gmail.com or call us at: 09987104233 (Monday to Friday only: 10AM TO 6PM).

3) People in India can also Pay by Bank Transfer / NEFT :
Bank Account detail:
Account Number: 018010100538299

Account Name: Silver Inning Foundation

Account Type: Saving A/C

Bank address: AXIS Bank Ltd., Nandnandan Bhavan, Sodawala Lane, Borivali (West)
Mumbai, India – 400092

IFS Code: UTIB0000018

Donations to Silver Inning Foundation are eligible for tax benefits under Sec. 80G of the Income-Tax Act 1961 (50% tax exemption).

Silver Inning Foundation is registered NOT FOR PROFIT (NGO) under the:

Societies Registration Act of 1860 vide registration number: 1300/2008/GBBSD dated 14/07/2008.

The Bombay Public Trusts Act 1950 vide registration number: F- 36344 Mumbai dated 8/12/2008.

Reg.No. U/s, 80-G from the Income Tax: DIT(E)/MC/80-G/1696/2010-11 dt. 6/5/2010 effective since 17.02.2010.

Our Mission is to uphold and secure the rights of elderly and actively work towards improving their quality of life by networking, advocating and researching elderly issues and providing a wide range of services according to their needs.

Our Goals:

1. To advocate and create awareness of elderly rights and issues at micro and macro level.
2. To address basic needs of the elderly (aged 50yrs +) and their family members.
3. To provide and create innovative programmes and services for the elderly that enable them to reintegrate back into society with dignity.
4. To promote research and development on issues related to elderly.
5. To develop and implement training of professionals and para-professionals in Gerontology, Geriatrics and Geriatric Care Management.

With our dedication, passion and with help of our networking partners we are trying to make a measurable, meaningful, and sustainable impact on the life of our Elders around the globe.

Together we at Silver Inning Foundation are working towards
our Vision of creating Elder Friendly World where Ageing becomes a Positive and Rewarding Experience.


DONATE TO ' Silver Inning Foundation' and help us to support our Senior Citizens .

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shame to Nation: Senior Citizen 77-year-old raped in Delhi as cops pass buck

One more Senior Citizen raped in national capital New Delhi !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whats happening more and more crime against elderly women on rise.Its Elder Abuse,there is no excuse for this. Government , Police and Civil Society - we all are responsible fro not able to stop this , we need to change our mindset. Human Right Activist , National Commission on Women , People working with Elders and women all should come together and STOP growing incidence of crime against elderly women and Senior Citizens all over the country ,specially in Urban area. The guilty to be punished and police personnel be booked for the crime in their area. This elderly women needs to be give psycho social care also. How can we tolerate this !!!!!!!!

A 77-year-old woman was allegedly raped and beaten by an unidentified rickshawpuller in Rohini, northwest Delhi, for over eight hours on Friday even as three police stations passed the buck, saying the crime did not fall within their jurisdiction.

Family members of the victim claimed that they visited the sector 7 police station -- as she was last seen in that area -- the K N Katju police station -- where the victim's family lives and where the rickshaw was headed -- and the Prashant Vihar police station, where the family was directed by the police. But they were given the run-around even after the victim had been missing for several hours.

"We hunted for her on our own till 2.30am. If the police had helped, she would have been found as the assailant was camping minutes away from the police station. Perhaps he would have been even caught and she wouldn`t have to go through the trauma that she did," said the victim's son.

The victim was finally found bruised, beaten and sexually assaulted barely 200 metres from K N Katju Marg police station at 6.30am on Saturday morning. A case of voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation, rape and causing hurt by means of poison with intent to commit offence was finally registered at the station only at 1.40pm.

The victim was rushed to Ambedkar Hospital in a critical condition after she was found by some locals who helped her reach home on Saturday morning. She is currently in the intensive care unit.

She was returning to her residence in Sector 15, Rohini, from her sister`s house in Sector 7 when the incident took place. Her sister had helped her hail the rickshaw around 6.30pm. Speaking to TOI, the victim recounted, "I got into the rickshaw and paid the man Rs 25. However, the moment my sister went inside, the rickshawpuller demanded more money and I even agreed to that. But while engaging me in conversation, he forced a handkerchief on my nose after which I lost consciousness. When I regained consciousness, I realized that he had taken me somewhere else. I begged him to let me go and take my cash and jewellery instead but he dragged me by the hair to a deserted spot and punched me several times and then attempted to rape me. I am an old woman and he got frustrated and beat me again."

The unidentified assailant allegedly had taken her to a deserted plot near Japanese Park, near the K N Katju police station. The victim`s son explained, "She told us that she had lost count as to how many times she had been beaten up and how many times he attempted to rape her. The assailant did not take away the gold bangles and diamond earrings that she was wearing even though she threw the money she had with her, hoping he would leave her alone. She told us that he beat her every time she came to her senses and she would lose consciousness again. He allegedly remained with her till about 2.30am and even told her around 2am that some men had come looking for her when we were searching for her in the vicinity."

The victim claimed that the assailant finally placed stones on her chest and hit her repeatedly. "Around 2.30am he tried to kill me and I lost consciousness. I came to my senses again at 6.30am and called out to a labourer who had come to relieve himself nearby. He helped me back home in an autorickshaw," explained the victim.

"We had gone to one of the police stations to lodge a missing complaint for her when we were told that she had returned home. We rushed her to the hospital," explained a relative. Meanwhile, the medical superintendent of the hospital Dr. BN Aggarwal said, "The patient is still under observation and besides her physical injuries she was extremely mentally disturbed as well when she was admitted. We will give a formal medical report on Monday."

A senior police official said they had rounded up around 100 rickshaw pullers and were questioning them.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/77-year-old-raped-as-cops-pass-buck/articleshow/7696706.cms

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

‘Don’t bequeath entire life’s savings to your children’ Maharashtra Governor tells senior citizens

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan today gave a piece of advice to senior citizens telling them not to bequeath their entire life’s savings to children.

“Give the best of education to your children. And that’s it. Do not give your entire life’s savings to your children. Save it for yourself,” said the Governor.
The Governor was speaking at the 44th annual function of ‘Swajan’ a non governmental organisation of retired government officials, in Mumbai on Saturday (19th February).

Mentioning that the grey population of India is growing, the Governor said much attention is needed to the welfare of the elderly and senior citizens than what is being given at present.

Sankaranarayanan observed that although Indian society has traditionally respected the elderly persons, the same was now declining on account of the collapse of the joint family system and the arrival of nuclear family.

He said there are growing reports of neglect and abuse of elders at the hands of their children and relatives. “I know of families who have forced their parents to live in out house and car shed”, he said. The Governor called upon Non Governmental organisations to work in the area of providing social security to he elderly persons. He expressed the need to create more old age homes, day care centres and mobile medical units to provide services to older persons.

Former Director General of Police A.N. Roy was among those felicitated by the Governor on the occasion. Chairman of ‘Swajan’ and former Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai Karun Chandra Srivastava also spoke on the occasion.

Raj Bhavan, Mumbai.

20 February 2011.

Detail Speech :

Address by H.E. Shri K Sankaranarayanan, Governor of Maharashtra at the 44th Annual function of 'Swajan', a socio-cultural organization, at Birla Matoshree Sabhagriha, New Marine Lines, Mumbai at 7.00 p.m. on Saturday, 19 February 2011

Shri Sanjay Nirupam, Member of Parliament, Shri K C Srivastava, Former Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai and Chairman of Swajan, Shri P. M. Srivastava, Vice Chairman, office bearers and volunteers of Swajan, families, ladies and gentlemen…

I am indeed delighted to associate myself with the 44th annual function of Swajan.

Sawjan has been doing commendable work in areas like education of poor children in tribal areas, empowerment of the handicapped, medical care and others.
I am told, a large number of serving and retired officials of Government and the private sector are associated with the organization as volunteers.

I congratulate Swajan and all those associated with the organization for their services to society and especially to the poor, the needy and the handicapped.

I also congratulate the eminent personalities who were honoured today for their services to society.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The voluntary sector is playing an increasingly important role in social development worldwide.

Many government agencies today use voluntary organizations as the preferred instrument for delivery of their services or for enhancing public awareness of their programmes and activities.

According to rough estimate, more than 7000 voluntary organizations are working in different areas of healthcare in India alone. I strongly feel that there should be proper coordination in the work of various NGOs so that more people are benefited by their good work. This will also avoid duplication of work by voluntary organizations in some areas.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I wish to highlight two areas where Swajan could focus its energy and resources. My first area of concern is welfare of senior citizens.

Advances in medical science have led to increase in the average life expectancy of India's population. As a result the grey population of the country is increasing. Much attention is now needed to the welfare of the elderly and senior citizens.

Indian society has traditionally respected the elderly people. However with the collapse of the joint family system and the arrival of nuclear family, respect for the elderly is disappearing.

There are growing reports of neglect and abuse of elders at the hands of their children and relatives. It is the moral duty of the nation and society to ensure a dignified life to senior citizens.

While financial security of the elderly is important, equally important is their social security.

We need more old age homes, day care centres, mobile Medicare units, etc to provide services to older persons. The Government of India supports such initiatives coming from NGOs, and I hope, Swajan will think of working in the area of welfare of the elderly and senior citizens.
The second issue I wish to highlight today is about the welfare of tribals.

India has a tribal population of about 75 million, which comes to 8.08 per cent of the total population. Tribals are considered to be socio-economically the most disadvantaged group. The benefits of globalization are still to reach large sections of our tribal population.

Three major problems of tribals are livelihood issues, education and health. The literacy rate among the tribals in the country is low and it is below 50% in the case of tribal women. The drop out rate of the tribal girls is as high as 77% by the time they reach 10th standard. Much more needs to be done to enable tribal girls to continue their education.

This is another area where well-meaning organizations like Swajan can supplement governmental efforts.

I wish to inform this gathering that the Government of India is in the process of creating a special cell in the Governor's office to oversee the work of tribal welfare in the tribal areas of the State. I am sure, collective efforts by Governments, NGOs and civil society will make a difference in many such areas.

With these words, I commend the work of ‘Swajan’ and wish the organization success in its good work.

Jai Hind! Jai Maharashtra !!

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