India is home to one in every ten senior citizens of the world, yet the country spends a paltry 0.032% of its GDP on these people who are subjected to neglect and isolation.
According to a study by HelpAge India, the country has 100 million elderly and by 2050, the figure is likely to triple to 324 million.
Chief Executive of HelpAge, Mathew Cherian, said there are not enough dependable community support systems to match this growth and Justice Leila Seth said neglect, poverty and isolation are major issues affecting the elderly. Losing dignity and lack of love can be a bigger evil than lack of laws, and though elderly people continue to face troubles across various social strata the problem worsens when poverty is a factor.
Cherian said they have approached Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for budgetary support for the senior citizen segment ahead of the Budget Session.
The ongoing National Programme for Health Care for the Elderly is being implemented in only 13 of some 600 districts of the country.