Higher pension for everyone above 60, free bus-passes across the state and increase in the quota for medical expenditure were among the list of demands submitted by senior citizens (from across the state) who had gathered in the city on Saturday to put forth their requests ahead of the upcoming Assembly election.
“We hope for a government where senior citizens who have given decades of work and service are well taken care of,” said Baskaran K from Cuddalore representing the Elders for Elders Foundation.
Observing that a large population of the state, and the country by extension, is moving towards a society which will see a considerable increase in the population of the elderly, he said they would want to elect a government that secures basic needs like commute, self-sustenance, and medical utilities for all those who come under the age bracket of ‘senior citizens’.
A pension fund of `2,000 was one of their biggest demands, which they insisted must be regulated better in order to reach all seniors across the state without discrepancies. “Sometimes, it doesn’t come for one or two months, so we want to be ensured a regular and timely grant of the assured pension,” he added.
Stressing for a palliative care policy, the senior citizens asked for a state policy that is similar to the one already put in place in Kerala. “There needs to be a state-wide policy on palliative care where senior citizens who are bedridden are cared for by a local nurse or a doctor of the respective panchayat or municipality,” said another representative Arunachalam speaking for the organisation.
“There are more than 1 crore senior citizens in Tamil Nadu. These demands ensure that the elderly get essential rights to be on the same footing as other citizens of the state,” added Baskaran.