Proposed budget allocates Tk2,640 crore adult allowance for 4.4 million elderly
Former government minister Rashed Khan Menon underscored the need for social pension scheme for the welfare of the elderly and senior citizens.
"Social pension scheme is necessary now. It could begin with the garment workers and farmers," he made the suggestion at a roundtable on 'Protection of Senior Citizen's Rights: Challenges and Opportunities' in the capital.
Prothom Alo and HelpAge International organized the discussion.
According to AgeWatch Index 2015 of HelpAge International, there are around 901 million people above the age of 60 year across the world. The number will go up to 1.4 billion by the year 2030 and 2.1 billion by 2050.
Rabeya Sultana, country director of HelpAge International said: "The number of senior citizens will rise at a rate of 11.5% in 2030 and 21.5% in 2050 in Bangladesh."
Rashed Khan Menon emphasized that empowering the elderly people is very important for them to realize individual rights as oppose to over dependency to others
Elderly citizens do not feel competent to live their own lives without others.
Khadiza Nazneen, Deputy Secretary of Social Welfare Ministry, said that the government has allocated Tk2,640 crore as adult allowance for 4.4 million elderly people in the proposed budget for FY 2019-20.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said the government has under taken various projects to reduce incidents of poverty in the country.
He said: "We [Government] can afford to build more old homes so that the elderly people who have no alternative residence can stay there."
Menon urged everyone to change their attitude towards the senior citizens. "We can gain valuable insights and tested knowledge from their experiences," he added.