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As India turns gray, government plans lunchtime meals and startups to help the elderly | India News

NEW DELHI: Images and reports of elderly people abandoned on the road by Indore Township shocked the nation, but the struggle for existence is a daily struggle for many of India’s elderly. Recognizing their plight, the government is ready to launch a midday meal plan for indigent seniors, support startups set up to work for the welfare of the elderly, and self-help groups will offer training for seniors as part of an outreach integral.
A rapidly growing elderly population expected to reach 300 million by 2050 has prompted the government to draw up a five-year roadmap setting targets for existing schemes and planning new ones, including a “Poshan Abhiyan for the elderly.” Malnourished seniors, mostly destitute, who are not in any nursing home will be identified and provided with a hot hot meal every day. For starters, the meals will be offered in 2,000 panchayats and 200 municipalities.
With a modest start, hot cooked meals will be provided to 55,000 identified seniors every day from centers equipped with a capacity to serve 25 people a day. The scope will be expanded each year to reach 2.75,000 seniors through 10,000 gram panchayats and 1,000 municipalities by 2024-25. The plans were approved by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) for the Senior Welfare Fund (SCWF) chaired by Social Justice and Empowerment Secretary R Subrahmanyam on February 4. -Meals cooked at noon, “Subrahmanyam told TOI. The ministry will write to the states to identify the panchayats and municipalities.
Under the approved plan, the gram panchayat / municipality would be the executing agency and will be assigned the task of identifying the elders. The cost per day is Rs 20. An expenditure of Rs 39.6 million will be incurred and aspirational districts will be prioritized and the plan will be executed only in those gram panchayats where there is no nursing home.
The IMC meeting attended by senior officials from the ministries of social justice, health and family welfare, housing and urban affairs, and the departments of economic affairs and financial services also approved a plan to promote the silver economy through equitable participation. in “Start Ups” for elderly care.
“Under this plan, capital support will be provided to innovative and ready-to-use start-ups that have emerged to provide products, processes and services for the well-being of the elderly. The selection of start-ups will be driven by the National Institute of Social Defense, “Subrahmanyam explained. The fund will be provided as capital stock, subject to a government investment not exceeding 49% of the total capital stock of the company. An expenditure of Rs 20 cr of SCWF for 2021-22 on this program.
Within the framework of the livelihoods and training initiatives for the elderly, it was decided to establish 5,000 self-help groups (Action Groups aimed at social reconstruction) to cover 1.25 billion beneficiaries in 2021-22. These groups will provide seniors with a platform to constructively share their time for activities that may result in marketable products. It is proposed that this be expanded to 40,000 AGRASR groups covering 10 lakh beneficiaries by 2025-26.
The Ministry of Social Justice has also decided to launch the process of creating a job bank for the elderly under the slogan “Senior citizens for reemployment with dignity.”

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