New Delhi, Oct 1: Vice President Hamid Ansari today said that the society and government are ill-equipped to take care of elderly who are fast growing in number and will shoot up to 32.3 crore by 2050.
"We have a large number of growing and vulnerable segment of elderly which the government and the society seem awfully ill-equipped to manage," he said while speaking at 'International Day of Older Persons' organized by HelpAge India.
Though, the well-being of elderly persons has been mandated in the Constitution, the implementation of the Act has been patchy. "There is a lack of infrastructure to provide specialised attention to growing numbers of elderly. Very few government hospitals in India have specialized geriatrics facility.
The off-take from government schemes like the National Programme for Healthcare of the Elderly has also been poor," he said.
According to 2011 census, the population of senior citizens who are more than 60 years of age is 10.4 crore which is 8.6 per cent of the population and is expected to shoot up to 32.3 crore constituting 20 per cent of the total population by 2050, as per the joint report by HelpAge India and United Nations Population Fund.
He said that rapid urbanization and migration from villages to cities is becoming one of the major causes of increasing insecurity among the elderly. "The Indian society is undergoing rapid urbanization under the impact of industrialization and globalization.
The traditional values and institutions are changing resulting in the weakening of inter-generational ties. Transition from rural agrarian setup to urban industrial way of life, migration from villages to cities and increasingly abroad, forces the young generation to leave their elderly alone back home," the Vice President said. Ansari also released the annual report of HelpAge India-2104 on the occasion.