JAMMU, OCT 1: Minister for Finance, Labour and Employment, Dr Haseeb A Drabu today said that senior citizens are the knowledge repository of the nation and continue to be respected for the wisdom which they have garnered by experience, learning, insight and judgment.
Dr Drabu was speaking at a function held to mark the celebration of World Elders Day organized by All J&K Senior Citizens Welfare Council.
Chairperson State Social Welfare Board, Nirmal Gupta, Director Radio Kashmir Jammu, Anjali Sharma, Padma Shri awardees, Ved Ghai, S P Verma, Vice President J&K Bank, Sunil Gupta, President All J&K Senior Citizens Welfare Council, Nirmala Chattoo, Vice President and Manjit Singh were present on the occasion.
The Minister congratulated the Council for celebrating the occasion with an informative programme aimed at to highlight the concerns of aging population. He stressed upon the need of evolving a social justice policy with proactive participation from the members of civil society for greater engagement of senior citizens.
Haseeb Drabu said that the present generation is struggling with cultural crisis wherein old structures are being dismantled while the new ones are yet to come up which has caused disorientation in roles played by different family members especially the elders. He expressed hope in the strength of cultural ties and social fabrics of the state and the country to provide direction to turbulent relations in the families of modern times.
Speaking on the demographic dividend of the country, the Minister apprised the audience of the growing number of people reaching 60 years of age. He said the number of senior citizens will be 300 million in coming years and reiterated the need of social justice policy to extend various welfare measures to them. He urged for bringing desired changes at each level to transform current infrastructure for evolving ‘senior citizen friendly’ society which will ensure their greater engagement, dignity and respect.
The Minister assured the Council of all the support for their endeavors towards betterment of senior citizens of the state. He appealed to the civil society to come forward with financial assistance as a part of voluntary as well as corporate social responsibility contribution for creating infrastructure of comfort and recreation for the elders, the task which has been taken up by the All J&K Senior Citizens Welfare Council. He informed that he will consider tapping contributions under constituency development fund of legislators towards this end.
Earlier, the celebration included various cultural presentations from teams of Department of Information and Public Relations headed by Jeevan Sharma, Radio Kashmir led by Khajoor Singh, Janbaaz Khalsa Gatka Academy, GWC Gandhi Nagar students and violinist Naveen Sharma.
On the occasion, Ratan Singh, Chint Kour and Ravinder were honored in recognition to their efforts regardless of age towards welfare of the society.
Other members present were Raj Sharma, D P Khajuria, Sarla Kohli, K K Gandotra, K N Singh, K C Gupta, Balbir Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Jagdish Raj, S N Koul, J S Mangal, Tej Krishan Koul, G Badgotra, Satish Sharma and S K Jain.