Former President Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday that India is what it is today because of the contributions made by the elders and there is an urgent need to mainstream issues concerning the ageing population of in the country.
Speaking on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons at a function organised by HelpAge India, Mukherjee said: "The government, civil society, corporates, educational institutions, media and society at large need to recognise the importance of this segment's needs… Elderly should not be considered a spent force and consigned to the history books, but seen as active members of the society contributing to its well-being." Mukherjee said if on one hand youths have the energy, elderly people have the knowledge and experience and all they need is an opportunity.
According to official figures released in 2016 by the ministry of statistics, the number of Indians over the age of 60 is at an all-time high, comprising 8.6% of the country’s 121-crore population.
On December 14, 1990, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish this date as the International Day of Older Persons. The next year, the day was observed as a holiday. The International Day of Older Persons is similar to National Grandparents Day in the United States and Canada and also Respect for the Aged Day in Japan.
(With PTI inputs)