Let Senior Citizens know of these schemes run by the Central Government
The Central Government through various ministries runs multiple programs for the welfare of senior citizens. Here is a snapshot of all such schemes.
Integrated Program for Older Persons (IPOP)
This program is run by The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Under this program, grants are given for running and maintenance Old Age Homes, Day Care Centres, Mobile Medicare Units, Multi Facility Care Centre for Older Widows etc. The main objective of the Scheme is to improve the quality of life of Older Persons by providing basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and entertainment opportunities etc. Implementing agencies eligible for assistance under the Scheme are Panchayati Raj Institutions/Local Bodies, Non-Governmental Voluntary Organizations, etc. Funds under the Scheme of IPOP are not released to the States, but released to the implementing agencies like NGOs etc.
Action Point: Details of old age homes receiving grants under this are available on the ministry's website. One can visit these homes and admit old age people who have nobody to take care of.
Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY)
This scheme is also run by The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. This is a Central Sector Scheme funded from the Senior Citizens' Welfare Fund. The fund was notified in the year 2016. All unclaimed amounts from small savings accounts, PPF & EPF are to be transferred to this fund.
Under the RVY scheme, aids and assistive living devices are provided to senior citizens belonging to BPL category who suffer from age related disabilities such as low vision, hearing impairment, loss of teeth and loco-motor disabilities. The aids and assistive devices viz. walking sticks, elbow crutches, walkers/crutches, tripods/quadpods, hearing aids, wheelchairs, artificial dentures and spectacles are provided to eligible beneficiaries. The Scheme is being implemented by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) which is a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
The estimated outlay of the Scheme is Rs. 483.6 crore up to 2019-20. The Scheme will be implemented in 260 districts and benefit 5,20,000 beneficiaries up to 2019-20. The list of selected districts and other features of the scheme are available on the PIB website. The beneficiary identification will be done by a committee at the district level headed by the District Collector and the distribution of kits will be done in a camp mode. Till date, the scheme has benefitted over 38000 beneficiaries against the target of 5,20,000 by 2019-20.
Action Point: Get old age people with such ailments in the identified districts to approach the District Collector's office to know more about the upcoming camps and take advantage of the scheme.
Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
The Ministry of Rural Development runs the National Social Assistance Program (NSAP) that extends social assistance for poor households- for the aged, widows, disabled and in the case of death of the breadwinner. This is in addition to the benefits that the State Governments extend to these people. Under this scheme, financial assistance is provided to person of 60 years and above and belonging to family living below poverty line as per the criteria prescribed by Government of India. Central assistance of Rs. 200/- per month is provided to person in the age group of 60-79 years and Rs. 500/- per month to persons of 80 years and above.
Funds under the schemes of NSAP are released on the basis of reports submitted by States/UTs. A total of Rs 5901 crore was released under the scheme in 2016-17.
Action Point: Find out the details of the relevant state scheme and get eligible old age people around you apply for the pension.
Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana(VPBY)
This scheme is run by the Ministry of Finance. The Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana(VPBY) was first launched in 2003 and then relaunched in 2014. Both are social security schemes for Senior Citizens intended to give an assured minimum pension on a guaranteed minimum return on the subscription amount. These Schemes are implemented through Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) of India, which is paid the difference between the actual yield earned by LIC on the funds invested under the scheme and the assured return of 9% committed by the Government. Both the schemes VPBY 2003 and VPBY 2014 are closed for future subscriptions. However, policies sold during the currency of policy are being serviced as per the commitment of guaranteed 9% return announced by the Government under the schemes. As on 31st March 2017, a total of 2,74,885 beneficiaries and 3,11,981 beneficiaries are being benefited under VPBY 2003 and VPBY 2014 respectively.
The Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana(PNVVY) was launched in May 2017 to provide social security during old age. This is a simplified version of the VPBY and will be implemented by the Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) of India. Under the scheme, on payment of an initial lump sum amount ranging from Rs. 1,50,000 for a minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month to a maximum of Rs. 7,50,000/- for a maximum pension of Rs. 5,000 per month, subscribers will get an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum payable monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/annually. The duration of the scheme will be for a period of ten years and the scheme is opened for subscription for a period of one year i.e. from 4th May, 2017 to 3rd May, 2018. As on 30th November 2017, a total of number of 1,83,842 persons are being benefited under PMVVY.
Action Point: The PMVVY is open for subscription till May 2018. Get old age people around you who are eligible for this scheme to explore and subscribe.
National Program for the Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE)
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare had launched the 'National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly' (NPHCE) during 2010-11 to address various health related problems of elderly people. The major objectives under district level activities of the NPHCE are to provide dedicated health facilities in District Hospitals, Community Health Centres (CHCs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Sub-Centres (SCs) levels through State Health Society. The health care facilities, being provided under this program, are either free or highly subsidised The Following facilities are being provided under the Program.
- Geriatric OPD and 10 bedded Geriatric Ward at District Hospitals.
- Bi-weekly Geriatric Clinic at Community Health Centres (CHCs)
- Weekly Geriatric Clinic at Primary Health Centre (PHCs).
- Provision of Aids and Appliances at Sub-centres.
The Centre will bear 75% of the total budget and the State Government will contribute 25% of the budget, for activities up to district level.
Action Point: As on date, the district level activities of the program have been sanctioned in 520 districts of 35 States/UTs. Check for districts in your state that have benefitted under this program.
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Dr P Vyasamoorthy
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