Former minister Rashed Khan Menon on Wednesday underscored the social pension scheme for the welfare of senior citizens.
‘Social pension scheme is needed now. It can begin with the garment workers and farmers,’ he suggested at a roundtable on ‘Protection of Senior Citizen’s Rights: Challenges and Opportunities’ in the capital.
Prothom Alo and HelpAge International organised the discussion.
According to AgeWatch Index 2015 of HelpAge International, there are around 901 million people above the age of 60 across the globe. The number will turn to 1.4 billion in 2030 and 2.1 billion in 2050.
‘The number of senior citizens will rise 11.5 percent in 2030 and 21.5 percent in 2050 in Bangladesh,’ said Rabeya Sultana, country director of HelpAge International.
Former minister Menon said that empowerment is very important for the elderly people’s rights and poverty is a curse for them.
Khadiza Nazneen, Deputy Secretary of Social Welfare Ministry, said that the government has allocated Tk 2,640 crore as adult allowance for 4.4 million old people in the proposed budget for FY 2019-20.
Planning minister MA Mannan said that the government is working to alleviate poverty.
‘We can afford to build more old homes so that the elderly people who have no alternative residence can stay there,’ he said.
Menon urged everyone to change their attitude towards the senior citizens. ‘We can acquire knowledge from their experiences,’ he said.