Sir Pudumjee Hall, MCCI&A, Tilak Road, Pune. Time: 5.30 to 7.00 pm.
In his welcome address, Mr. Jayant Umranikar, Chairman, ILC-I, said, “Each one is in search of Happiness and Not Unhappiness. We need to be prepared for this search and especially so, as Elders. For this, there are three areas which need our planning- Physical, emotional or mental and financial well-being.”
He added that, for an elder to maintain his dignity and self-respect, it is obviously good to be independent in every way. But he cautioned that, interdependence is also important. Having good relations with family and friends is important to ensure good physical and mental health. He also urged the seniors to give some time for one’s self. Exercise is important so that all the organs are in good working condition.
Financial preparation for retirement is of crucial importance, for which this lecture by the expert, Dr. Satbhai, would be of great help, Mr. Umranikar concluded.
Dr. Dilip Satbhai, the speaker on the occasion, with his profound knowledge and expertise in finances, financial planning, began by saying, that though it appeared initially, as if the Union Budget had a lot to offer for the seniors, in effect, it did not. The reason being, the various schemes or concessions which were mentioned in the budget, were specifically meant for the younger generations to avail with a view to ensuring them the benefit of tax concessions.
The Budget also was not very supportive to the plight of the underprivileged elderly women which form one of the most vulnerable segments of the elderly population. The Union Budget should have marked out a policy of “Pension for All’ which unfortunately was not the case.
One suggestion made by Dr. Satbhai was that, concessions in Income-tax may be given to the children of senior citizens, based on whether they are taking care of their elderly parents or not. Such strategies would of good use to both, the elders and their children too, as it would ensure a linkage that, it is because of the elderly parents that the children are given these benefits.
Before speaking in detail on the provisions for seniors in the Budget, Dr. Satbhai urged the government to adopt a Rights-based approach in all its policies, programmes and schemes, rather than a Needs-based approach, so that the concept of ‘charity, dole or favour’ would not arise.
He also cited that, just as there are Mid-day meals for school children, such a programme could be considered for elders too, and given the fact that seniors require very small quantities of nutritional food, quite akin to the school children, this scheme would also be of great use to the underprivileged senior citizens.
Some of the major highlights of the provisions for senior citizens in the Union Budget 2015-16, as pointed out by Dr. Satbhai are:
Dr. S. D Gokhale, Founder and Hon. President of ILC-I is no more :
Dr. S. D. Gokhale, the eminent social scientist of international repute and the Founder President of the International Longevity Centre-India passed away peacefully after a brief illness on the 15th of January 2013.
Dr. Gokhale was a versatile personality, renowned for his soft-spoken erudition, his innovative vision, his able administration and his thirst for knowledge. His contributions to the fields of child and community development, the well-being of the elderly and the removal of the stigma attached to the leprosy-affected individuals were some of the more well recognized ones amongst others.
His writing skills were reflected in the more than 40 books and more than 100 papers that he authored in English and in Marathi and in his editorial abilities as the editor of the revered Marathi daily, “Kesari”. He founded two other organizations- the Community Aid & Sponsorship Programme and the International Leprosy Union. His achievements were lauded with several awards, like the International Gandhi Memorial Award, the WHO Sasakawa Award for the Elimination of Leprosy, the G. D. Birla Award for Humanitarian Service, and many more. He was on various national and international committees that framed and formulated the doctrines and national and international policies on ageing, including the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and the National Policy on Older Persons of India.
The list of his achievements and the awards acknowledging them is long and it is not possible to recount here, but, his indomitable spirit, his positivity, his dedication to his work, his clarity of vision and thought and his constant invention of innovative ideas for the development of the underprivileged and the vulnerable sections of society have left behind indelible imprints on all our minds.
He leaves behind his wife, a son, daughter-in-law, daughter and son-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the ILC-I family. May his soul rest in peace.