The government on Wednesday announced in Parliament that it will come up with a new programme under which NGOs will take care of senior citizens, who are living alone, at their homes, besides bringing in a law to provide day care facility. There are about 10.38 crore senior citizens in the country based on 2011 census, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot said during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.
A 2007 law has the provision for taking care of all senior citizens. However, the government is working on a new law to ensure those senior citizens living alone are taken care of in a better way, he said.
"We are bringing a new law under which a day care centres will be set up for taking care of those living alone," he said, adding that senior citizens can visit such day care centres and spend time till evening.
Such centres will have library, canteen and other facilities. He said the government will also bring a new programme under which NGOs can take take care of elderly people, who are living alone, at their homes.
Responding to a query on quality of devices provided to senior citizens under the Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY) and the need to extend the warranty of devices beyond one year, the Minister said devices like wheel chair and walking stick are of "superior quality" and adhere to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) standards and international standards.
The government provides devices worth up to Rs 7,000 to each person under the scheme, he said.
The government has taken technology from Germany for making artificial hands and legs and from Scotland for modern wheel chair, he added.
A state-run company, which manufactures devices for senior citizens, is of international level. However, a provision is being made for working with other global agencies to ensure quality devices are made and supplied under the scheme, he added.
Responding to a query on poor coverage under RVY, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Rattan Lal Kataria said about 3,22,476 devices have been distributed under the scheme so far.
So far, 1,24,142 senior citizen have been covered under the scheme. "We will cover the rest in coming days." Under the Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY) launched in March 2017, the government plans to reach out to 5.20 lakh beneficiaries in three years.