INDIACSR News Network
Realizing the greater disparity in social sector, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India has come up with ambitious mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility provisions for corporate world. While going through these provisions, We at Agewell Foundation found that in well-crafted recommendations to the corporates for CSR provisions, while all other important issues are included, the aspect of old age has somehow not been touched upon by the Ministry. With no mention of issues concerning Old Age in CSR provisions, all initiatives to assist old people could once again remain without patronage & support from the corporate world.
Indeed, the Ministry had completely ignored the ever growing population of older people, which has already crossed 100 million mark in India and constitute almost 8.5% of the total population of our country. Life span of older persons has also increased remarkably over the past decades. Life expectancy at the age of 60 has increased upto 20 years.
The cut throat competitiveness in today’s human life, nuclear lifestyle and longer life span in old age has made older people most vulnerable, deprived and isolated like other disadvantaged sections of the society. They also need support mechanisms in the form of Helplines, Voluntary Assistance, Interaction Centres, Old Age Homes, Health and Legal services, Skill Development Training, Opportunities for second career after retirement, Healthcare Givers, Advocacy services along with continuous research about their needs & rights.
In view of this, Agewell Foundation submitted a representation to the Hon’ble Minister for Corporate Affairs Shri Sachin Pilot and requested him to review the emerging ground realities of old people and include issues concerning old age in mandatory CSR provisions set for corporate world. (Copy of the letter is enclosed)
Taking further its intervention to advocate for Needs and Rights of Older Persons, Agewell Foundation has also raised this issue with various channels of media successfully. (Representative newspaper clippings are attached.)
With repeated follow up and persistent efforts, finally Hon’ble Minister for Corporate Affairs Shri Sachin Pilot the concerned authorities at the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has decided to include issues concerning old age in the CSR Bill. (Report appeared in the Hindustan Times on 21-9-2013 enclosed.)
At this occasion, Mr. Himanshu Rath, Chairman of Agewell Foundation said, “Indeed its a welcome step taken by Hon’ble Minister for Corporate Affairs Shri Sachin Pilot. It will certainly help the initiatives taken for the welfare and empowerment of old people across the country by the non government organizations.”