Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mukherjee said the elderly in the country were increasingly facing a variety of problems associated with modernity and growth and also the attitudinal change in social values.
"I am aware that the Government of India seeks to formulate and implement sound policies for their financial and food security, their health care and other vital requirements to improve the quality of their lives. Central Ministries and Departments have been co-coordinating to implement specific schemes and provide concessions and facilities in the form of income tax rebates, rail and air concessions and higher interest rates for bank deposits etc.," he said.
He said the enactment of “The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007” was a very positive step in the right direction.
"I have been informed that the Model Rules brought out by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment prescribe, in detail, the duties of the police for protecting the life and property of senior citizens," he said.
Mr Mukherjee said elders themselves could organize themselves to collectively identify the areas where they would like Government and society to intervene and bring improvements in their lives.
"Senior Citizens are a vibrant resource as we move forward. There is no reason why they should not have employment opportunities and income security. Older women must, similarly, be protected from discrimination, neglect and inequalities. Today, medical advances have enabled practitioners and institutions to give better care to the elderly. I would call upon the medical fraternity to take more initiatives that further facilitate the elderly and make their visits to doctors and hospitals a pleasant experience, not a nightmare," he added.