Elderly citizens woes discussed


IMPHAL, May 14: A one day state level workshop on “Elderly Women’s Livelihood Approach Income Generation Scenario in Manipur” under sponsorship of the Department of Social Welfare was held at Manipur University today.

The inaugural function of the workshop was attended by vice chancellor of MU, Prof. HNK Sarma and former dean of Social Sciences Prof Ksh Bimola Devi as the chief guest and president respectively.

Chairperson of Manipur State Social Welfare Board, Rk Nayansana Devi and women development officer of the Department of Social Welfare, Thingom Joychandra were the guests of honor.

In his address, vice chancellor HNK Sarma stated that out of the total population of the state, 10 percent which amounts to more than 2.7 lakhs are over sixty years and considered ‘elderly’ persons.

Mentioning that there has been a significant change in time regarding employment opportunities, he said that many students opt for studies in other states and further get employed in different sectors.

“ Those who have become accustomed to the outside scenario have problems coming back here, and it results in the parents being left to fend for themselves in their old age on their own”, he added that such predicaments needs to be discussed and adequate means must be adopted to mitigate it.

Sarma stated that there has to be a better health care policy of the country, stating that in other states the needs of the elderly are looked after by the strategy of providing a social security system.

“Health care is also poor, the government needs to address this, statistically 89.3 percent of the elderly people have not been provided proper health service in the state”, he said.

He added, only central employees avail benefits of the National Health Service Scheme and not the general public.

On a similar note, Prof Ksh Bimola stated her concerns on parents being left alone as their children leave to seek employment elsewhere outside the state.

“If both parent are fine, then its ok, but if one dies, the problems begin,” she added. She said, not only the elderly face such predicament but young women widowed by the conflict situation have similar issues.

She stated that the United Nations have taken up steps to ensure the well being of the elderly and such policies need to be taken up by the country for the welfare of its public.

Papers were presented by Th Madhuri Devi, associate professor, Prof. Ksh Bimola, Dr L Kunjeshori Devi on topics of “Elderly Women-Issues and Challenges”, “Aged Women-An Approach to Income Generation”, and “Eldery Women and their Livelihood.”

The recommendations of the seminar included for the Social Welfare department to avail more schemes for the elderly, for the Manipur Women Development Corporation to study the census and further to identify the elderly women on basis of disabled, single status, widowed etc, to give vocational training, schemes to the deserving after categorization.


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