At present, there are around one crore elderly people in the country
State Minister for Social Welfare Sharif Ahmed has said that currently there are over one crore elderly people in Bangladesh and their number is increasing by 4.41 percent every year.
In the last 10 years, the average life expectancy of Bangladeshi people has increased to 72 years due to the country's development, said the state minister.
“If this trend continues, we have to take it seriously,” said Sharif while attending a discussion on “Role of senior citizens and journalists for a developed country” as the chief guest.
The program was organized by Bangladesh Journalists’ Rights Forum and Friends Foundation at the Press Institute auditorium in the capital on Wednesday.
Stating that various health related problems will increase, Sharif said: “In order to maintain the dignity of the elders, the Parents Care Act has been passed.”
He also mentioned that ignorance about the elderly is prevailing across the country.
Senior citizen status to be declared
The state minister further said that “senior citizen” status for the elderly people has to be declared.
He said: “So, we have to ensure interesting employment opportunities for them. Social status for senior citizens must be determined, as well as medical services and family members’ cooperation should be ensured.”
Based on Parents Care Act 2013, the Social Welfare Ministry has enacted “Parents Care Policy”, he said.
In the 2018-19 fiscal, the monthly honorarium for elderly people has been fixed at Tk 500, and the government has allocated Tk 4,400 crore in this regard, he added.
He also said the country will have to utilize the knowledge of the elderly people.
Among others, journalists and representatives of senior citizens attended the discussion.