Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), a government organization, arranged a divisional level workshop on uplifting the quality of lives of elderly people, with the support of YPSA, an organization for sustainable development. The workshop took place on 27 April at the YPSA-HRDC Chittagong campus. Managing Director of PKSF Md. Abdul Karim was present as chief guest while Country Director of HelpAge International Bangladesh, Rabeya Sultana and Deputy General Manager of PKSF, AHM Abdul Kaiyum conducted the workshop.
In the discussion, the chief guest Abdul Karim said, as part of the multidimensional program for poverty alleviation, PKSF has been implementing a new program titled “Uplifting the Quality of Lives of Elderly People Programme”, in line with the government’s elderly policy. PKSF has been implementing the program in 100 unions through 52 partner organizations. PKSF has allocated sufficient budget for the program in the next financial year and would be increased further according to the needs of the future.
In the daylong workshop, speakers said, the United Nations uses 60 years to refer to older people. But in most developing countries 65 years of age people are identified as senior or old. The overall security of elderly person is being considered as priority under the current social security activities worldwide.
As global birth rates decrease, as well as increasing the life expectancy of the population, the number of elderly people in the population is increasing. In 2015, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over was 901 million and expected 1.4 billion by 2030. It is projected to grow to 2.0 billion in 2050 which would be 21.5 percent of the world’s population and three-fourths of the population will be in developing countries.
The Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees support to disadvantaged people of the country. A part of the country’s elderly population is included in the disadvantaged category. Government formulated National Policy on Older Persons – 2013 to ensure the dignified, poverty-free, good health and safe social life of the elders. In addition to recognizing the contribution of senior citizens in the society, the government also formulated “Parents Maintenance Act 2013”. The government also provides Old Age Allowance to the elders.