"The respect for senior citizens is deeply embedded in the traditions of our country and it is high time that all out efforts are made to keep the same alive." These views were expressed here today by the Social Security, Women and Child Development Minister Mrs. Aruna Chaudhary while chairing the meeting of the State Council for Senior Citizens.The minister apprised the Council Members that the draft of the State Policy for Senior Citizens is ready but needs fine-tuning and invited suggestions till 4th October, 2019 so as to finalize the policy. The minister sought information on the pendency of cases under The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 and also directed that the status report regarding the cases where compromise has been reached must be filed at the earliest. The minister also emphasized that the quarterly meetings of the District Level Committees must be held at the regular intervals and the representatives of the Federation of Senior Citizens' Association (FEDSEN) be invited to these. Mrs. Chaudhary also directed that the pattern of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh be studied regarding the matter of increasing old age pension from the present level of Rs. 750 per month and updated information be submitted till 4th October, 2019. Regarding the issue of implementation of the action plan for Protection of the Life and Property of Senior Citizens, the minister said that an officer of the rank of SP is deployed in each district to ensure security of the life and property of the senior citizens.
Divulging more, the minister said that the beds are reserved for the senior citizens in the wards of district hospitals with free medicines and free diagnosis. Besides, the funds under the Rogi Kalyan Samiti are also being utilized. In an important directive, the minister said that the facilities for the senior citizens must be listed in all the district hospitals.Mrs. Chaudhary also directed that the Deputy Commissioners must ensure that International Senior Citizens Day be observed with full fanfare on 1st October, 2019. Apart from this, the senior citizens must be accorded full respect in all the offices and functions.The minister also reiterated that the intimation with regard to the all notifications concerning matters pertaining to the senior citizens be circulated to the Federation of Senior Citizens' Association (FEDSEN) specially the ones concerning Social Security, Police and Health Department. The 112 helpline number is also operational for dealing with all the emergencies related to the senior citizens.It was also decided to hold meetings of the State Council at half yearly intervals.Among other dignitaries present on the occasion included Principal Secretary Social Security, Women and Child Development Department Mrs. Raji P. Shrivastava, Director Mrs. Gurpreet Kaur Sapra, IG Crime Mr. Gurinder Singh Dhillon, President Federation of Senior Citizens' Association Punjab (FEDSEN) Mr. Satpal Karkara, Mr. Prem Chand Bakshi Advocate, Mr. Surjit Singh (Retd. PCS) from Senior Citizen Welfare Council, Hoshiarpur, Chief Town Planner Housing and Urban Development Mr. Gurpreet Singh, and Assistant Director Health and Family Welfare Department Mr. Paramvir Singh.