Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of International Day or Older Persons, the Odisha government today announced the Odisha State Senior Citizens Policy-2016.
“Today is World Senior Citizens Day. I am glad that Odisha has its own senior citizens policy today. In this policy, emphasis has been given on health care, security, housing and emotional needs of the senior citizens,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while unveiling the policy at the State Secretariat here.
Under the policy which is framed by the department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD), emphasis has also been given on health, financial security, physical security, welfare, and conveyance subsidy of the senior citizens.
To ensure proper implementation of the policy, a state council comprising various departments would be formed. The council will also include several non-government organisations (NGOs). Provisions have been made to felicitate individuals and organisations for rendering welfare service to the senior citizens. The government will take steps as per the advice of the council.
It has also been decided that the state government will set up a fund of Rs 7.4 cr initially and set up old age home in each district.
As per statistics, there are about 40 lakh senior citizens in Odisha which constitute 9.5 percent of the total population of the state. Of the 40 lakh senior citizens, 86 percent of them live in rural areas. It is estimated that the population of the senior citizens in Odisha would be around 13.8 percent of the total population by 2026.
The Chief Minister also unveiled the website of the SSEPD.
Notably, the Odisha government has implemented Madhu Babu Pension Yojana, Barishta Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana (pilgrimage scheme for senior citizens) for the senior citizens of the state.