At present, India has the pride of being the youngest country in the world. But the gradually increasing population of senior citizens is telling us the need to think seriously in this matter.
In fact, India’s phase of demographic dividend started in the year 2010 when the working age population of the country reached 51 percent.
It has increased with time. It is obvious that the number of senior citizens is sure to increase in the coming years in the same proportion.
The India Aging Report 2023, recently released by the United Nations Population Fund and the International Institute for Population Sciences, raises our concern.
The report shows that by the year 2050, the population of people above sixty years of age in the country will increase to about 21 percent.
In other words, the number of senior citizens in the country will increase to 34.7 crore.
It is noteworthy that in the year 2022, the population of elderly was about ten percent i.e. 14.9 crores.
In fact, The Youth in India 2022 report by the country’s Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation has also confirmed that the number of people of working age is witnessing a decline due to the decline in fertility rates.
On the other hand, the rate of elderly population is continuously increasing. While in the year 1991 the percentage of elderly population was 6.8, in 2016 this percentage increased to 9.2. It has been estimated that by the year 2036 this figure will be around fifteen percent.
Certainly, in such a situation, we have to be prepared to face this challenge so that the senior citizens of the country can live a respectable life.
For which preparations will have to be made from now onwards. We have to make such government policies which will help in the welfare of the elderly in the times to come.
Efforts should be made that the elderly do not have to face difficulties in the last stages of life.
This is a difficult time for them because after retirement their sources of income get reduced.
Then the social security policies of senior citizens in India are not favorable. In which government’s participation should be increased.
Efforts should be made to provide adequate facilities for health care to the elderly in the twilight of life.
There should be social security and pension needs should be fulfilled. Efforts should be made that the young population working in manufacturing and service sectors can get better facilities when they become senior citizens in the future.
UN report raises concerns that forty percent of the population who will join the elderly in the coming times, comes from the poor class, for which there is no concrete system for social security.
Now the time has come to give concrete shape to the schemes for the welfare of senior citizens of the country.
For which corporate social responsibility expenditure should be increased.
The irony is that despite an increase in CSR expenditure from Rs 89 million to Rs 551 million during the period since 2014, it is only 0.3 per cent of the total expenditure.