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‘Standing Against Elder Abuse’ is A short video by Reaping Hope to mark the 9th World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014.

Elder abuse is a major problem today, not just because of its severity but also because most of these cases are hidden. A large number of senior citizens face abuse everyday either one way or the other. And most of the abusers are none other than their own family members. The voices of senior citizens are not heard because they are unable to stand up on their own and now it’s time we raise our voices against elder abuse. This is a call to all youths to unite and stand against elder abuse, a request to initiate small steps to minimize abuse happening daily, knowingly or unknowingly. Know that your parents/grandparents and any other senior citizens are an important part of the society and help them live a dignified life in their golden years.

 

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76 years old Purnakala Khatri from Baglung- Harichaur 3 participating in ‘Letter writing competition’ organized on Thursday. She was able to fill one whole page with the introduction of herself, her family and her locality. Most of the participants among the total 50 wrote about Galkot of Baisi-Chaubisi Rajya and their family.  Khatri was able to read and write through a literacy campaign conducted by District Education Office. There were 434 adults participating in the campaign.

Source: Kantipur Daily, (March 7th, 2014)

“Excuse me, is that yours?” An elderly voice struck my ears when I was waiting for a coach to return to London from Ramsgate, a coastal town. I turned towards the voice and saw an old woman, probably in her late 70s. She was pointing to a soft drink can next to me. It wasn’t mine. I hadn’t even noticed it in my anxiety that I might miss the bus. So I said no. She then picked up the can and walked away slowly. I was puzzled why she was taking that empty can. I saw her white head and tiny structure moving slowly towards the waste bin around the corner. She dropped the can in the bin and went on her way. Wow! I was amazed to see an elderly lady doing this. What an inspiring thing for everybody! I looked at myself and felt ashamed. It was a really hard punch for me who was just sitting on the bench comfortably without bothering about it. It was a great slap for the one who had left it there. The old lady who is not strong enough to carry away her own trash is here taking care of other people’s garbage. And a young person like me is loitering around doing nothing about it. Is it love for her place? Is it her awareness of clean surroundings? Maybe both. This grandmotherly lady’s act is really an inspiration for me who comes from a country where we throw our garbage out the window without any feeling of guilt.

We boastfully spit in public places without any shame. We throw our trash through bus windows. Keeping our own house clean is everything for us. We bathe, put on clean dresses and clean our house daily, but very comfortably we throw our garbage anywhere. In contrast to our behavior, people from the developed countries not only think of their houses but also of their surroundings. They are ashamed to throw even chocolate wrappings or sandwich boxes on the road. They feel uncivilized to spit in public places. That’s why their country is clean. But in our country, how many of us throw our waste in the proper places? If we want a clean environment, who will come and clean it for us if we don’t do it ourselves? If we think that our government or some organization will do it for us, it’s just a sweet dream. Waiting for this sweet dream to come true, we have already spent decades amid stinking surroundings and piles of garbage in the centers of our cities. Photographers have earned a lot of money taking pictures of the rubbish and selling them to the media. Let’s stop giving them such opportunities. Let’s start removing our waste ourselves. If an old lady can do it, why can’t we?

Source: The Kathmandu Post (November 22, 2013)
Compiled by: Janu Rai

 

Last week a report on the ageing people ranked Nepal 77th among 91 countries, indicating it as one of the worst places to grow old.

The Global Age Watch Index, the first of its kind, which claimed to have covered 89 percent of the population above 60 years of age worldwide, showed that Nepal is yet to improve its services in health care in order to create a suitable environment for old people.

The survey, conducted by HelpAge International, an INGO, and supported by the United Nations Population Fund, puts Sweden as the best place for ageing people followed by Norway, Germany, Netherlands and Canada. The United States of America got eighth position while India holds 73rd rank.

Afghanistan, the survey shows, is the worst place for older people. The survey looked into 13 indicators in the four domains: income security, health status, employment and education, and enabling environment. Among the indicators, pension income coverage, poverty rate in old age, relative welfare of older people and GDP per capita are looked into income security while life expectancy at 60, healthy life expectancy at 60 and psychological wellbeing are under health status. Similarly, employment of older people and their education status are looked into while social connections, physical safety, civic freedom and access to public transport were kept in mind under the enabling environment.

We can break down these numbers and view them in terms of programmes aimed at the elderly population. In terms of government services, the retirement age in Nepal differs from profession to profession—58 years for civil service holders, 60 for teachers, maximum of 65 for judges, among others. Then they are eligible for pension.

For those who are not pensioners, they are eligible for state allowances. The government provides Rs 500 per month for people who are above 70 years while the age bar is 60 for old people in Karnali and the Dalits.

“Studies on old age and the security system carried out so far show that living standards often decline for people at old age. Reduced economic opportunities and deteriorating health status frequently increase their risk of vulnerability to poverty as people age,” a 2012 report on Assessment of Social Security Allowance Programme in Nepal reads. “The absence of resources or income sources increases the risk of individuals, households and communities falling below the poverty line due to insufficient consumption and access to basic services. For those who are already below the poverty line, the absence of an income source increases the risk to remain in or to fall further into poverty.”

However, this scheme has been frequently criticised for lacking transparency in the fund distribution. “The allowances have been a great relief to the people. But how many of them are benefiting remains largely unknown,” said Krishna Murari Gautam, chairman of Ageing Nepal, an NGO working for the rights of old people.

Gautam said 21 cases of hurdles in allowance distribution were reported in 2012, which is just a tip of the iceberg. Among the reports, many dealt with the VDC secretary forging signatures of the elderly to pocket their allowances.

This programme was introduced in 1995 as a political agenda to buy votes. This was widely popular and was hence continued. The sum of money has also increased from Rs 100 to Rs 500 over the years. The scheme was widely misused during the insurgency period when the VDC secretaries, who are responsible for the allowance distribution, were never present in the localities.

“Despite problems in implementation, our social security scheme of providing old age allowances has been received well by the international community as it is universal for people above age 70,” said Sangita Niroula, country director of HelpAge International Nepal.

In terms of health care, the government has recently initiated geriatric care centres at the hospitals. This, however, is yet to be effective. Surya Prasad Shrestha, under-secretary at the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare, accepted that these centres have not been much effective.

“But the initiation is for a noble cause and we are also new in the area,” said Shrestha. He said that they have been slowly piloting the establishment of day care centres and studying land right issues.

According to the National Population and Housing Census (2011), there are 2,154,410 senior citizens who are above 60 in the country. They make eight percent of the population.

 Source:  The Kathmandu Post (Nepal) October 8th, 2013

Compiled by : Manisha Shrestha

 

 

August 24

An organization representing senior citizens plans to draw the attention of the government towards the plight of the elders by organizing a conference.

“The government has not given due priority to senior citizens,” Chatra Bahadur Pradhan, general secretary of the National Senior Citizens’ Federation, said, highlighting the need to draw its attention towards the plight of the aged population. Representatives of the organizations working for the welfare of senior citizens will highlight the problems facing them at the conference, which will take place in Itahari on September 17.

Pradhan lamented that laws meant for the welfare of senior citizens have remained unimplemented. Senior citizens, whose population is 2.2 million, feel that the government has neglected them. They lack security and respect. Though they have have put their problems before the government through several forums, the government seems least bothered when it comes to solving them.

At a time when the country is gearing up for Constituent Assembly elections, the federation feels it is the right time to press political parties to address concerns of senior citizens as the latter are also a constituency that the parties cannot ignore.Through the conference, the federation aims to bring to light problems facing the senior citizens and draw the government’s attention towards the same. It aims to make the government formulate policies and implement laws meant to ensure welfare of the elderly as soon as possible.

The organizations participating in the meet will highlight experiences and problems of the elderly. Through the conference, the federation also aims to strengthen the participating organizations at the district level.The meet will focus on the attitude of youngsters towards senior citizens and the role the youth can play to ensure the seniors’ welfare.

Source: Himalayan News Service Kathmandu, August 24, 2013

In Nepal, although the ageing population is increasing rapidly, the awareness on the issue among the public has not been able to catch up. People are still unaware of the speed of population ageing, its effects, and challenges surrounding it. Unlike developed countries, a majority of the population still lives in rural areas without access to most of the information, and the population with access to such information does not seem to show interest in it as the nation has other important issues to deal with. A major problem for senior citizens in a developing country like Nepal is Negligence. There are no strong rules or acts against everyday domestic elder abuse, rights of senior citizen or any strong development efforts for ever increasing older population.

With this in mind, Reaping Hope aims to spread the information and raise awareness about the speed of population ageing, elder abuse, neglect and violence against older persons, and more generally, about the experience of being old in our changing world.

Please circulate this video to your circle!!!!

 

700 women set to benefit 

KATHMANDU: IN a landmark decision, legally married spouses of ex-Indian Army servicemen, whose names are listed in service records, are now eligible for ordinary family pension after the death of the soldiers and until their own death, said the Indian Embassy in a statement on Wednesday.

Similarly, if an ex-serviceman is legally married to more than one woman, the family pension will be equally divided among the widows after the death of the pensioner.

“Widows have to report personally to collect their share of the pension. However, in case any of the widows whose name has been notified in the service records dœs not claim her share of the family pension or her whereabouts are not known to other the surviving widows, then her share of the family pension (after division) will not be paid to the surviving widow(s) but protected for her,” said the statement.

However, the Government of India has accepted the recommendations of the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu to grant the protected share of the pension to the surviving widow(s) presently drawing only part of the pension. After some verification, the full pension will be released to the widow pensioners, in cases where their co-widows have not claimed the pension for more than seven years, said the statement. This provision will benefit around 700 widows of ex-Indian Army servicemen in Nepal.

Source: Kathmandu Post News Service, September 27, 2012

NEPAL adopted the Yogyakarta Declaration on Ageing and Health, on Tuesday, pledging to improve the national response to the health of ageing and aged populations. Health Minister Rajendra Mahato and Secretary Dr Prabin Mishra, representing Nepal, agreed to the declaration, along with 10 other World Health Organization (WHO) member states from South-East Asia, in a regional meeting being organised from September 4-7 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The meet is being attended by WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan, Regional Director for South-East Asia Dr Samlee Plianbangchang and health ministers of the WHO member states, according to a WHO press statement. The declaration underscores concern that the economic effects of ageing will impact health care and social support systems and require the attention of policy and decision makers, NGOs and the private sector, said the statement. Health Ministers from the region committed to a coherent, comprehensive and integrated approach to formulate, promote, develop and strengthen multi-sector national alliances for promoting healthy ageing and ensuring sufficient resources for programmes dealing with ageing and health, taking into consideration the economic aspects of long-term care for the aged, both at the facility and household levels.

Source: Kathmandu Post News Service, September 7, 2012

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