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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Senior citizens to demand revision in civic budget

Irked with the paltry provision of 0.008% towards their welfare schemes in the annual civic budget, senior citizens and representatives of several NGOs plan to meet Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Sitaram Kunte next week.

Of the total proposed budget outlay of Rs 27,492 crore, a provision o only Rs. 2.2 crore has been made for senior citizens. "Senior citizens comprise a significant proportion of our population. I propose to make a budgetary provision of Rs2.20 crore for recreation centres and other initiatives exclusively targeted towards the benefit of our senior citizens," Kunte had said in his speech.

"Senior citizens comprise 10% of the overall population of the city. How can Rs. 2.20 crore be sufficient to meet their demands for the year," asked Sailesh Mishra, founder president, NGO Silver Innings Foundation "The city is not senior citizen-friendly. The existing infrastructure such as skywalks, foot overbridges and markets do not cater to the elderly. So, we need a budgetary allocation of at least Rs500 crore (2%) for them," said Mishra.
Prakash Borgaonkar, director, HelpAge India, said that the civic body should pass the senior citizens' policy at the earliest. "The policy will help the civic body extend several facilities towards senior citizens. It should be cleared at the earliest. We also need additional provisions for the aged in all civic-run hospitals."

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