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Problems of old age Essay in 400

Problems of old age In our society old people are confronted with various problems. In the last leg of their life they have to bear

with several traumatic experiences. Loneliness is a psychological “ailment” that the

aged citizens have to live with. With the grown-up children leaving for far-off towns in search of

employment, the old are often left behind in . the small towns and Vlllages to fendvhen medical problems emerge, few old people, Especially those belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society, have the kind of money needed for proper treatment. Even small surgical operations costs thousands of rupees while cases like cardiac surgery expenses run in lakhs of rupees. With the concept of free treatment, even in government-run hospitals, having been abandoned, most old people have no choice but to resign themselves to suffering and dying. This is tragic indeed.

Elderly persons also face the risk of being attacked by criminals. In fact, they are easy targets. Being physically weak and living all alone, they are incapable of defending themselves from the robbers and burglars, Of late there has been several cases of elderly people killed by the robbers in the metros.

Though the government is aware of the problems of our elders, not enough seems to have been done on the ground for them. However, on the positive side, the Union government has drafted a new policy on the old and the ageing. Destitute old persons above 65 years of age are being given paltry sum of Rs 150 to Rs 200 per month as old-age pension. The government also gives grants to some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to set up old-age homes, run mobile dispensaries, and establish day-care centres and reading rooms for senior citizens.

All this sounds good but the extent of availability of these facilities is small indeed. These need to be increased manifold to cover the entire elderly people.

The problem area is the paucity of funds. Since the aged are considered to be an economically unproductive group, the government wants to spend the least on them.

To take care of its greying population and to generate funds for the implementation of welfare schemes for them, the government should take certain immediate steps. It needs to create full-fledged ministries for elderly people at the Centre and in the states. These ministries should draw plans for the welfare of this segment of population and look after its implementation. To advise these ministries on the welfare measures to be taken, advisory forums of eminent people should be formed.

The government could impose a senior citizens welfare tax on able-bodied employed citizens. It can generate huge funds for various schemes.

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