Pakistan Observer

Senior citizens bill in SA soon

Sunday, January 27, 2013 - Sukkur—Speakers at a workshop urged the government to present bill on the senior citizens’ welfare for approval by the parliament, saying the elderly people faced problems, especially during emergency situations. PPP leader Haji Anwar Ali Khan Mahar said on the occasion that the provincial government would soon present such bill in the Sindh Assembly. This will protect rights of the senior citizens in the province. He believes that people from all ages should live comfortable lives. “We have to make provisions from time to time; we have to also create legislation for senior citizens, as these respectable persons are the most important aspects of our society,” he added. He said this at an advocacy workshop on Senior Citizen Bill held here, jointly organised by SRSO and Help Age International here. The MPA extended full support of the PPP government regarding the legislation as well as its presentation before the Sindh Assembly, and believes that even opposition parties will also actively participate in this process as it is a national cause. Senior Manager Disaster Mangememt Preparation Cell (DPMC) of Sindh Rural Support Organisation (SRSO) Abdul Hameed Bullo said elderly people were the largest segment of the population in the world and that Pakistan was the sixth most populous country in the world with 6.8 percent of its population comprising elderly people. He added that the count would grow to 15.8 percent by 2050. Bullo said senior citizens faced problems like discrimination, health problems, poverty, denial of rights. He said the elderly people’s vulnerability grew considerably during disasters. Another speaker, Muhammad Akram Shaikh, District Manager Right to Play called for provision of age-friendly primary health care at health centres and IDP camps and during emergency situations. He said elderly people had special needs in terms of food, health and accessibility of other services and this should be addressed by the government, humanitarian and development organisations and other stakeholders. Acting President Press Club Sukkur Muhammad Zaheer Khan Lodhi said the approval of senior citizen bill by the parliament will bring positive changes in the lives of senior citizens. He also Highlighted the role of media regarding needs and rights of older people in Pakistan. Ex-MPA Ghulam Qadir Bhutto, Regional Director BISP Sukkur region, Ambreen Ansari, ILO representative Ashfaq Ahmed, NRSP`s Manager Jamil Khan, Abdullah Awais, officials of Pakistan Bait-ul- Mal, Zakat and Usher and EOBI.—APP
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