New Delhi, Delhi Senior Citizens’ Association (Regd) held its 1st General Body meeting on 8th June 2013 at the India International Centre, New Delhi. The Chief Guest on the occasion was Prof. Kiran Walia, Hon’ble Minister of Education, Social Welfare, Child and Women Development & Languages. The Guest of Honour was the renowned Cardiologist Padamshri Dr. K. K. Agarwal, Senior Consultant Physician, Head Cardiology and Dean of the Board of Medical Education, Moolchand Medicity.
The welfare of the Senior Citizens has become a priority area of concern – both for the government and the Civil Society Organizations such as the RWAs and Registered Senior Citizens’ Associations across Delhi NCR. At present, the population of Senior Citizens in Delhi is estimated at around 2 million, about 1.8% of their total population in the country.
The Civil Society Organizations work hand in hand with the Government machinery, to continuously uplift the living conditions of the senior citizens – even done on a case to case basis. At present, around 83 Recreation Centres are being run by the Civil Society Organizations in different areas of Delhi. Prof. Kiran Walia informed that the Social Welfare department of the Delhi government provides these recreational centres with a one time grant of Rs. 75,000/- to cover the basic necessities; in addition a monthly grant of Rs. 20,000/- is also being provided for the operational expenses.
Prof. Walia further informed that in order to bring dignity to old age, the Senior Citizens shall also be introduced to various schemes and plans which will help them to re-establish themselves and contribute to the society. She added that her government is gravely concerned about the security of the senior citizens and with the help of the civil Society Organizations a check on the whereabouts, emotional and physical well being of the elderly are being monitored.
Padmashri Dr. Agarwal opined that age is just a number and there are various ways and means by which senior citizen could help themselves during a crisis of cardiac arrest. He shared and demonstrated some easy to do steps that can be employed during crisis.
On behalf of the office bearers of the Association, Mr. S. S. Rudra, General Secretary shared the activities since inception and some plans for future, the notable ones being a discount of 20 to 30% to the senior citizens affiliated as member of the Association. These discounts could be availed on the basis of the Photo ID card which are currently under process.
To provide entertainment to the elders, Library – cum - recreational centre in Safdarjung Enclave Club provides facilities such as indoor games, a reading room, skype service to connect to the loved ones in India and abroad, observed Mr. K. K. Kapila, Patron-in-Chief of the Association. He further added that as a special service, pick up support for those senior citizens who are from the BPL strata or infirm, is being provided since past 1 year. Model Recreational centres are also being aimed at in prominent places of worship where the Senior Citizens spend considerable time. Mr. Kapila further elaborated that, “we have also tied up with nearby private hospital to provide discounted services and free ambulance service. Free tea/coffee and snacks are also provided to the members. Our main aim is to ensure provide user friendly services as per needs of the senior citizens.
The Delhi Senior Citizens’ Association was set up in April 2012. It had a humble beginning and today membership has grown to over 1000 across Delhi. The Association is supported by Mr. K. K. Kapila, Patron-in-Chief and Patron Maj. Gen. R.K.Khanna and Mr. Jagdish Dhingra. The President of the Association is Mr. O. N. Sharma, the Vice President is Shri S.L.Watwani and the General Secretary is Mr. S. S. Rudra.