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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Security, health care main concerns of Elderly voters

With Delhi all set to go to the polls on Thursday, senior citizens in the Capital want security from crime and abuse and better health care facilities from the new dispensation at the Centre.
Announcing the findings of a new random survey of senior citizens here, HelpAge India said that out of a total sample size of 309 senior citizens, 96.4 per cent said they would cast their vote in the Lok Sabha polls.

While 82.2 per cent of the respondents were men, 17.7 per cent were women.

Pointing out that issues related to the younger generation have been the main focus in the run-up to the general elections, HelpAge India chief executive Mathew Cherian said: “While a lot of focus is on the youth, their need to vote, their contribution in forming the new government and what they want, the senior citizens and their needs are being overlooked. It is sad considering that they are the ones who make sure that they cast their votes in each election.”

According to HelpAge India, 41.4 per cent seniors have stated that they have been unhappy with the past governments and list security from crime as No.1 priority.

Safety and health were prime issues for 57.41 per cent of the respondents.

Thirty per cent of the senior citizens stated security from crime and abuse as their main concern followed by a close second of 27.41 per cent for better health care.

Fifty-nine respondents from across the city want the new government at the Centre to lay emphasis on multiple issues like better infrastructure, policing and legal facilities and availability of electricity and water.

Senior citizens also want increase and access to pension, faster implementation of the National Policy of Older Persons and the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, along with safety and health from the new government. “The senior citizens of Delhi are clearly unhappy with the State Government and want the new government at the Centre to be more assertive in preventing crime and abuse against the elderly and provide affordable and better health care. I am certain that this is a grievance of not only Delhi seniors but the entire country. With an estimated 20 per cent or more of the total votes cast belonging to the seniors, it will be difficult to ignore them for too long,” said Kapil Kaul of HelpAge India.

Source: http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/06/stories/2009050659250400.htm

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