Contributing to society at 90? Get an award in Haryana

August 2nd, 2010 - 11:52 am ICT by IANS  

By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, Aug 2 (IANS) If you are 90 years old or more and still working and contributing to society in Haryana, you could end up being richer by Rs.100,000.

The Haryana government has come up with an awards scheme for the state’s senior citizens. Five awards have been instituted in different categories - each carrying a cash reward of Rs.100,000.

The Chaudhary Ranbir Singh centenarian award, named after freedom fighter Ranbir Singh and father of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has been instituted for the 90-plus category.

Ranbir Singh, who was the lone surviving member of India’s constituent assembly (before independence), died in February last year at the age of 94.

He had remained a minister in the earlier Punjab and Haryana governments and was elected to the Lok Sabha in the country’s first general election in 1952 from the Rohtak seat. He won the same seat in 1957 too.

“Five awards — Chaudhary Ranbir Singh Centenarian Award, Mother Teresa Award, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Courage and Bravery Award, Mahatma Gandhi Panchayat Award and Mahatma Jyotiya Phoole Lifetime Achievement Award — have been instituted for senior citizens and these would be given away every year,” Haryana’s Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Geeta Bhukkal said.

“This has been done with a view to encourage and motivate senior citizens of the state,” she added.

Detailing the objective of the awards scheme, Bhukkal said: “The joint family system has completely broken down and there is a marked trend of withdrawal of family support (to the elders). We need to create such favourable conditions that enable senior citizens to spend rest of their lives with dignity and also provide the benefit of their long experiences in various fields to the society.”

Of Haryana’s total population of 2.11 crore (according to the 2001 census), 6.8 percent belong to the 60-plus age group.

The Mother Teresa award would be given to those mothers who fight against all odds so that their children might fulfil their dreams.

The Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel courage and bravery award would be given to those older people who display extraordinary courage in difficult situations.

The Mahatma Gandhi Panchayat award would be given to those ‘panchayats’ (village councils) who do pioneering work for the cause of older people at village level. The Mahatma Jyotiya Phule lifetime achievement award would be given to those senior citizens who work in the field of welfare of aged people and make significant contribution in that field.

Nominations for the awards will be screened by a committee of senior officials set up by the government.

Bhukkal said the Haryana government was committed for providing social security to senior citizens of the state. Six old age homes and 12 day-care centres are functioning in the state. Oct 1 is observed as an international day of elderly every year, she added.

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