Senior citizens in Rajasthan adopt “Gandhigiri” to highlight their woes

November 18th, 2007 - 11:15 pm ICT by admin  

Bikaner (Rajasthan), Nov 18 (ANI): Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful means of protests, senior citizens in Rajasthan are using similar non-violent ways to highlight their various problems, ranging from security to medical facilities.
Hundreds of senior citizens in Rajasthan participated in a peaceful protest-march on Friday. Children and young volunteers, dressed up like Mahatma Gandhi, also took part in the protest-march that was organized by ‘Helpage India’, a self-help group.
Senior citizens said that though their own children had driven them out of their houses or forced them to take refuge in old-age homes, it was heart-warming to see youngsters coming forward to their help.
“We have taken to this peaceful means of demonstrating. Non-violence is the way to deal with people,” said Rajendra Purohit, officer, Helpage India.
The senior citizens lament that the State is yet to implement various programmes for the welfare of senior citizens in true spirit.
“There should be some organisation to take care of our needs, and ensure safety and security,” said Somdutt Shrimali, President Senior Citizens Traders Association.
The authorities say that they have taken a heed to senior citizens’ demands, and have assured that requisite steps would be taken to solve their problems.
“They have presented their demands before Chief Minister (Vasundhara Raje). We can solve some problems at the local level, rest need the attention of the State Government,” said District Collector Alok Gupta.
India has about 77 million older persons, according to 2001 census. This population is expected to touch 177 million by 2025.
Most of the older persons, living in rural areas, have no social security. While 30 per cent of them live without two square meals a day, an estimated 55 per cent of the older population is women, with no support. (ANI)

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