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Senior Citizen now official title at age 60 in Bangladesh

Sixty year old President makes the declaration after congressional approval

Nov. 29, 2014 - The President of Bangladesh, Abdul Hamid, has declared the country's people aged 60 years or above as senior citizens. President Hamid, who turned 60 in January, urged all to work sincerely to ensure social dignity and security, and other facilities including food, clothing and treatment for senior citizens.

The President said the number of elderly people is increasing in the society because tremendous improvement of medical science helped increase life expectancy.

The number of the country's total elderly people is 13,000,000 and this number will stand at 4 million by 2050.

"It means the size of the elderly people will be around 20 percent of the total population . . . it would be the biggest challenge to the country's social, economic and healthcare in the future," he added.

Laying emphasis on keeping the elderly people involved in the mainstream of the family, society as well as the state, he said it is the responsibility of the society to give these elderly people priority in getting all civic services, including hospitals, banks, offices and courts.

"I'm declaring all elderly people of the society as senior citizens of the country to pay respect to their contribution to the society and state,” he said.


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On November 17, 2013, the cabinet approved the National Policy on Older Persons recognizing the elderly people as senior citizens. President Dhaka said it is in line with United Nation’s policy.

“We've to keep in mind that a nation can move forward with the joint efforts of young and old people. Here, the young people are indispensable on one hand and the elder people are necessary on the other,” the president said.

Hamid continued, “All expect that the young will take the society forward through their work utilizing the experience of the older citizens.”

Terming the older citizens the pathfinders, the president urged all to be sincere in ensuring the social respect and security of the elderly people.

“For this, we'll have to strengthen our traditional family bonding… we'll have to teach the children from their childhood to respect the elderly people because this is our tradition,” he added.

The President recalled the contribution of the elderly people to the society and country with respect and said elderly people are the society's respectable persons and they worked for building families, society and country during the golden days of their life.

“But affection to the elderly people is now declining and they are now losing their authority and dignity in their own families, he said, adding that many elderly people are facing social insecurity because of financial hardship and deprivation of treatment facilities,” he said.

He added that the government has taken a number of programs for the welfare of the elderly people. Old age allowance has been introduced from 1997-98 fiscal year and the number of people getting such allowance has increased to 2,722,000 from only 400,000, he said, adding that the amount of allowance has been increased to Tk 400 from Tk 100

The President said he came to know that the cabinet approved 'The National Policy on Elderly 2013' for the welfare of the elderly people. The government has also enacted 'Feeding and Lodging to Parents Act, 2013' and children are bound to ensure feeding and lodging for their parents under this act, he added.

He expressed his happiness that a number of organizations such as Probin Hitoishi Sangha, Centre for Rehabilitation of Elderly People, Retired Government Employees Welfare Association and Resource Integration Centre have been working for the welfare of the elderly people.

The President urged the financial institutions alongside the government and voluntary organizations, to take programs under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) for the welfare of the country's elderly people.

>> National News Service of Bangladesh


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