Senior Citizens Walk to Mark International Day of Older Persons

by VR Sreeraman on Oct 1 2007 4:02 PM

Thousands of senior citizens participated in a walkathon in New Delhi today to mark International Day of Older Persons.

The elderly, donning white t-shirts and pea caps, walked to promote inter-generational bonding, bridging the gap between the old and the young.

R N Sidwani, an elderly participant said more such events should be organised for senior citizens.

"Events like this should be organised for elderly at least twice or thrice a year. It gives inspiration and strength to people like us," said Sidwani.

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar, who led the walkathon to mark the day, said a legislation in the interest of the senior citizens is being formulated.

"We will very soon pass a new law under which it will be mandatory for the children or the grandchildren of the family to look after the elderly in the family," she said.

The Government is very much concerned about the welfare and security of the older persons and it is our duty to extend all possible help to them, she added.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has already set up a National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) to advise and aid the Government on policies and programme on older persons.

The Ministry has also set up an Inter- Ministerial Committee with the aim of effective implementation of the NCOP.

Emphasising the need to sensitise the society at large about the problems and needs of the older persons, the Minister said, “Cooperation of NGOs and public, especially the youth was required to create an environment where older persons get respect, care and due affection.”

There is need to inculcate the feeling of respect and care for older persons in the minds of young generations, she stressed.

Over 2000 senior citizens and school children took part in the event, which is organised every year.

The function was organised by the Ministry of Social Justice.

October 1 has bee declared as the “International Day for Older Persons” by the United Nations.

The basic idea behind the celebrations is to recognise the services rendered by the senior citizens and to reiterate the government’s commitment towards the cause of the elderly.