Every year on 21 August, World Senior Citizens’ Day is observed annually to recognise the contribution of elders towards society and its people. The day is dedicated to increase awareness about issues like elder abuse and age deterioration that affect elderly people.
On this special day, every problem concerning the senior citizens is discussed, their experiences are shared and solutions are offered. The occasion also allows the youth to appreciate them for their services, accomplishments, and dedication towards family and country.
History of World Senior Citizens’ Day
The first World Senior Citizens’ Day was declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) on 14 December, 1990. But the first celebration of this day was observed on 1 October, 1991. Among the many presidents who came and went, it was former president of the United States of America (USA), Ronald Reagan who formally founded the World Senior Citizens’ Day after he had signed a proclamation on 19 August, 1988.
In his Presidential Proclamation, Regan stated that senior citizens’ have achieved a lot throughout their lives and we as common people owe our gratitude to them.
“For all that they have achieved throughout their lives and for all that they continue to do, we owe our gratitude and sincere greetings to our senior citizens,” Reagan had said.
Significance of World Senior Citizens’ Day
This day provides the opportunity to remind governments of their promises made to the senior citizens and measures, which should be taken for them. It is the duty of every government to ensure that they are able to avail all state benefits without hassle. The day also underscores the importance of ensuring that the senior citizens do not face any kind of abuse or difficulty.
For senior citizens in India, there are various schemes including Integrated Programme for Older Persons, Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana, and Vayoshreshtha Samman. These schemes are launched in the country to improve the quality of life by providing the elderly with basic amenities and rights.