Emptiness Syndrome affects a big number of older people as their younger family members move away in quest of better opportunities.
To aid our elderly, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu launched a National Helpline for Senior Citizens. The helpline, known as the ‘Elder Line’ at 14567, was established by the government of India in partnership with the Tata Trust and would operate 12 hours a day to handle the problems of older residents across the country.
Naidu also established the SACRED (Older Able Individuals for Re-Employment in Dignity) portal, which connects senior citizens with private-sector job providers.
According to the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) report-2020, over half of our elderly adults are active, making it critical to give profitable work options for them in order for them to live a happy, healthy, empowered, and self-reliant existence.
“Our elders are the vast repository of experience and expertise, I urge the private sector to join the new portal and get benefitted from the skills and experience of our senior citizens.” said the Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu
“Taking care of the elderly should not be the sole obligation of the government alone. I strongly feel that each of us should come out and join this great cause. India’s youth should responsibly bring out start-ups to come up with unique and inventive solutions to the difficulties that the elderly experience on a daily basis. ” said Venkaiah Naidu
Notably, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 1, 1999 to be the International Day of Older Persons, and every year since then, the first day of October has been observed as the International Day of Older Persons around the world.
National Awards for the Elderly
Moreover, every year 1 Oct is celebrated as the International Day of Older Persons. In India, government has constituted Vayoshreshtha Samman to confer notable senior citizens in honour of their contributions to the cause of the old. In this regard, our Vice President Naidu conferred the awards and congratulated all the institutions and individuals who received the ‘National Award- Vayoshreshtha Samman 2021’ saying that their efforts will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
Digital Literacy for the Elderly
‘Digital Equity for All Ages’ was the subject for the United Nations International Day of Older Persons in 2021. Since everything has gone digital globally, its importance of boosting digital literacy among our senior population is essential. Thus there is the need for the younger generation to take the lead in this area and educate their seniors in their families and communities on how to use digital devices. He went on to say that this would go a long way toward empowering them.
A survey says that elderly population in India is projected to reach about 14.9 per cent by the year 2036, thus its pertinent to remember India’s rich tradition of respecting and caring for the elderly.
“Under the Joint Family System, they enjoyed a place of reverence and influence, guiding and advising the younger generations on the strength of their knowledge, wisdom and long years of experience,” said Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice President.
Noting that with changing times and erosion of the traditional values, he said that these days many of our young children do not get the privilege of enjoying the tender care, love, affection and guidance of the older generations as was available to us in our joint families.
Govt steps for elderly persons
Referring to the various challenges in the wellbeing of the elderly, Naidu said that the Government and Parliament are taking necessary initiatives to create the right policy framework for the care of the elderly. State governments and local bodies proactively working to do a follow up and implement these programmes.
Emphasising the need to sensitize society towards the challenges faced by the elderly, he appealed to media and NGOs to take up sensitization drives to educate people in this regard. He also suggested that wherever needed, senior citizens should be imparted training to upgrade their skills.
A first-of-its-kind initiative by the government will now allow senior citizens seeking job opportunities to register on a dedicated employment exchange from October 1.
Jobs Through Virtual Platform
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s (MoSJ&E’s) Senior Able Citizen for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED) will enable senior citizens above the age of 60 to search for a job, but only through the virtual platform. Social Justice and Empowerment Secretary R Subramanyam said the platform might bring together various stakeholders for giving work opportunities to the elderly.
The ministry has written to various industry associations such as the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), and the Association Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) to increase employment opportunities for elders.
People above 60 years of age can register on the government portal on the basis of their experience, education, skills, and areas of interest.
Recruiters can post jobs or projects along with specifications and criteria for applicants. The ministry has clarified that the portal does not guarantee jobs but will connect the employer and employee.
Portal- Freelance Jobs for the Elderly
The portal will allow full-time, part-time, freelance and pro-bono work models. It also might include retaining and re-skilling options for the senior citizen to bring them up to time speed.
The inter-ministerial committee decided that retired personnel from armed forces, Reserve Bank of India, state-owned banks, retired former state and central government employees can be placed for the jobs.