By despising all that has preceded us,
We teach others to despise our self
Ageing is a natural process, which inevitably occurs in human life cycle. It brings with a host of challenges in the life of the elderly, which are mostly engineered by the changes in their body, mind, thought process and the living patterns. Ageing refers to a decline n the functional capacity of the organs of the human body, which occurs mostly due to physiological transformation, it never imply that everything has been finished. The senior citizens constitute a precious reservoir of such human resource as is gifted with knowledge of various sorts, varied experiences and deep insights. May be they have formally retired, yet an overwhelming majority of them are physically fit and mentally alert. Hence, given an appropriate opportunity, they are in a position to make significant contribution to the socio-economic development of their nation. Growing Population:
The population of the elderly persons has been increasing over the years. As per the UNESCO estimates, the number of the aged(60+) is likely to 590 million in 2005. The figure will double by 2025. By 2025, the world will have more elderly than young people and cross two billion mark by 2050. In India also, the population of elder persons has increased form nearly 2 crores in 1951 to 7.2 crores in 2001. In other words about 8% of the total population is above 60 years. The figure will cross 18 % mark by 2025. Problems Of The Aged:
Problems of the aged as follows :
(i) Economic problems, include such problems as loss of employment, income deficiency and economic insecurity. (ii) Physical and physiological problems, include health and medical problems, nutritional deficiency, and the problem of adequate housing etc. (iii) Psycho-social problem which cover problems related with their psychological and social maladjustment as well as the problem of elder abuse etc. International Efforts:
The question of ageing was first debated at the United Nations in 1948 at the initiative of Argentina. The issue was again raised by Malta in 1969. In 1971 the General Assembly asked the Secretary-General to prepare a comprehensive report on the elderly and to suggest guideline for the national and international action. In 1978, Assembly decided to hold a World Conference on the Ageing. Accordingly, the World Assembly on Ageing was held in Vienna from July 26 to August 6, 1982 wherein an International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted. The overall goal of the Plan was to strengthen the ability of individual countries to deal effectively with the ageing in their population, keeping in mind the special concerns and needs of the elderly. The Plan attempted to promote understanding of the social, economic and cultural implications of ageing and of related humanitarian and developed issues. The International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted by the General Assembly in 1982 and the Assembly in subsequent years called on governments to continue to implement its principles and recommendations. The Assembly urged the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to ensure that follow-up action to the Plan is carried out effectively. (i) In 1992, the U.N.General Assembly adopted the proclamation to observe the year 1999 as he International Year of the Older Persons. (ii) The U.N.General Assembly has declared “Ist October” as the International Day for the Elderly, later rechristened as the International Day of the Older Persons. (iii) The U.N.General Assembly on December 16, 1991 adopted 18 principles which are organized into 5 clusters, namely-independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment, and dignity of the older persons. These principles provide a broad framework for action on ageing. Some of the Principles are as follows : (i) Older Persons should have the opportunity to work and determine when to leave the work force. (ii) Older Persons should remain integrated...