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President Presents ‘Vayoshreshtha Samman’ to Older Persons & Institutions on International Day of Older Persons 

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukharjee presented the National Awards for Senior Citizens“Vayoshreshtha Samman-2016” to eminent senior citizens and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of elderly persons, especially indigent senior citizens at a function organized by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment here today. Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thawaarchand Gehlot presided over the function. Ministers of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Vijay Sampla and Shri Krishna Pal Gutjar, Secretary, M/o Social Justice & Empowerment Smt. Anita Agnihotri and many dignitaries were present. These awards were presented as part of the celebration of the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on 1st October.
●    Addressing on the occasion, the President said that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is doing a good job by providing various reliefs to the elderly in society. The efforts of the Ministry are being complemented by other Ministries of the Government of India but the problem is gigantic. Senior citizens in our country – that is, the segment of our population that is aged above 60 years, numbers about ten and half crores. Of these, 5.1 crore are male and 5.3 crores are female. Current projections indicate that by the year 2026, the number of senior citizens, male and female, will be 8.4 and 8.8 crores respectively i.e. a total of 10 percent of our population. In view of this, there will be increased requirement of trained manpower and medical infrastructure for geriatric care. Additional resources will be required to protect their rights and to ensure their social inclusion and economic independence. Social inclusion of the aged population is an indispensible gesture that can only partly repay the gift of life and nurturing received from our elders.
●    International Day of Older Persons is observed on 1st of October every year pursuant to the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly to observe the year 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons with the theme, “a society for all ages”. The Ministry has been conferring “Vayoshrestha Samman” every year on this day since 2005, to eminent citizens and institutions in recognition of their outstanding services to the elderly people, especially indigent senior citizens. The “Vayoshrestha Samman” was elevated to the level of national awards in 2013 under 13 categories and this is the second year in which these national awards are being conferred. 

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