Shri Mukul Wasnikji,
Hon. Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment,
Government of India,
New Delhi-110 001
1. Review committee for NPOP ( National Policy on Older Person)
2. NPOP review and Implementation
3. The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act’ 2007 (MWSCA) Implementation
4. MOSJE department on Ageing
Reference: Ongoing Emails correspondence with you and MOSJE dept. since 15th Feb 2010
At onset we congratulate you and your ministry for taking various steps for Review of NPOP and schemes of welfare of Elderly.
This Letter is to bring to your kind notice the working of MOSJE department with regards to Ageing, NPOP and MWSCA.
On 8th Dec 2009 you had informed us about Review of NPOP at National Dementia Strategy meet held in New Delhi. But On 28/01/2010 we came across an internal circular issued by your MOSJE about appointment of Four Member Review committee. This move has surprised us and other important stakeholders. No consultancy was done for appointment of this committee with important stakeholders.
We appreciate NISD Training programme and government intention to review the NPOP but it’s sad to note that only Four People from the entire country are made part of this very important committee. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MOSJE) which looks after more then 90 million Senior Citizens has neglected and ignored important stake holders ,NGO's and organization in Constitution of Committee to review the NPOP. There is growing anger amongst Senior Citizens and important stake holders for this secretive step of MOSJE.
It seems MOSJE was in hurry and did not inform nor consulted National Council for Older Person (NCOP) nor the Standing Committee of MOSJE. It’s a close door appointment and the process is not transparent and leads to doubt/ suspicious and abuse of Senior Citizens and important organization working for Senior Citizens.
In this regards we had also filed an RTI on 17th Feb 2010 and after nearly two months received a one para reply on 15th April 2010.
It’s also to be noted that MOSJE does not responds through emails and also is not aware of contact details of NGO’s, Organization and professionals working for Elderly - this was visible in circular issued for 2nd meeting of experts in Delhi held on 19th March 2010. It is also alleged that minutes of meeting of review committee and minutes of meeting held by some of this four members is "doctored". Also many times it’s difficult to find right person in MOSJE handling Ageing, the department looks toothless and unmanned. A separate ministry or National Commission might be one of the solutions to look after more than 8% elderly population in India.
There are many important Organization and People all over India who are actively working for /with Senior Citizens and their rights, ignoring them will be big mistake. Already the earlier NPOP which was formulate in 1999 could not be adopted and implemented for more than 11 years and now there was need to review the NPOP due to changed scenario of society and need of elderly.
Most important is the view of common Senior Citizens of India - poll, survey, debate, News paper & Web Base suggestions etc could be an effective method to know the practical needs of man on the street, the common Senior Citizen.
We as an important member of civil society carried out ‘National Online Survey for Review of NPOP’ to look into needs and demand of Senior Citizens. This survey was jointly conducted by Silver Inning Foundation and Society for Serving Seniors to assess the requirement and need of Senior Citizens from 19th March 2010 to 15th April 2010. It was hosted on the Survey Site www.questionpro.com at the .The questionnaire was online for about a month. Wide publicity was given to this survey in a large number of web groups, blogs, websites and by email to Senior Citizens associations, Federations etc. Please find attached the detail Survey Report which will help, all of us to do justice and create a comprehensive NPOP.
If government of India is serious about making an realistic NPOP which will benefit different segment of Elderly viz. young Old, Old Old , Very Old ;then it should have progressive and positive mindset , a holistic approach is needed .It also need to include important stake holders and Senior Citizens themselves. Please find attached a comprehensive list of organization pan India working for /with Elderly.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act’ 2007 also needs your urgent attention as it’s not adopted nor implement on whole, pan India. Many Senior Citizens all over country are harassed and abused. This act will bring some relief to our Elderly.
Silver Inning Foundation on behalf of all the Senior Citizens strongly demands Ministry of MOSJE to reconstitute/ extend the current committee to other very important stake holders- NGO’s , Institution’s , Geriatricians , Gerontologist , Professionals and Intra govt. departments for the benefits of millions of Elderly in India, please have inclusive policy and don't discriminate the NGO's and other important stake holders. Also we demand to increase the time line to one year for making any decision with regards to NPOP.
We hereby demand implementation of comprehensive NPOP & The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act’ 2007.
We hereby once again raise our objection on constituting of current minor committee , time line given for review of NPOP , non implementation of NPOP & The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act’ 2007.An urgent step in this regards will be appreciated or else Senior citizens will launch nationwide protest.
Let’s work together for Rights of Elderly and create an Elder Friendly world.
Silver Inning Foundation
Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.