Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

Universal pension scheme for the elderly

A person usually passes five stages during his lifespan. The stages are infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age which starts at 60 years and ends in death. Old age is one of the vulnerable situations in a natural process of life. At this stage, people experience decreased physical strength and deteriorating health conditions with age-related complexities. The proportion of elderly people is increasing all over the world where the number of children is decreasing significantly. Bangladesh is also not an exception. Because of improved quality of life, the number of people over 60 years is increasing rapidly in our country. The situation poses an emerging challenge as the elderly will have special needs and require different care-giving services.

In our society, nuclear families are increasing day-by-day. At the same time, lots of family members live abroad leaving older people alone. As to why, they are compelled to live separately from their families and becoming vulnerable. It is apprehended that the elderly population would double by 2025. Such condition demands more health and welfare services and more provision to the elderly support system. So, there is need for a publicly-funded, universal scheme that will overcome destitution among the aged. During their prime time of life they rendered valuable services to the nation. So, we must have to repay their debt a little bit by ensuring pension for all above 60 years of age. Pensions for elderly people are the most widespread form of social protection in the world, and a key element in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1.3 which calls for the implementation of nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all. Responding to the UN call, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the authorities concerned to work out a universal pension scheme for the people aged above 60 years. If it is implemented, the senior citizens will be able to meet their demand for nutritious food, safe water, proper sanitation facilities and medicare facilities. Moreover, our new generations have to be responsive, informed and attentive to their duties and responsibilities towards the elderly people. Taking proper care of the elderly is also the ethical duty and responsibility of all concerned.