ATAL VAYO ABHYUDAY YOJNA
17th March, 2023 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
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Context: The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment stated in Rajya Sabha that the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment is implementing Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana (AVYAY) for Senior Citizens.
- As per the census of 2011, the Population of senior citizens was approximately 10.38 crore or 8.6% of the total population in the country.
- The National Policy on Older Persons, 1999, mentioned that the State government should provide support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter, protection and other needs of older persons to improve the quality of their lives.
- The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment under the Umbrella Scheme of Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana is implementing various welfare schemes for improving the living standard of senior citizens.
About Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana (AVYAY)
- The main objective of the Scheme is to enhance the quality of life for Senior Citizens by providing them with necessities like shelter, food, medical attention, and recreational opportunities.
- It also aims to promote productive and active ageing by supporting the development of the capacity of State/UT Governments, NGOs, Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), local bodies, and the community at large.
- A grant in aid is given to NGOs and voluntary organisations (VOs) under the Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana (AVYAY) for the operation and maintenance of Senior Citizens Homes (old age homes), Continuous Care Homes, etc. The elderly destitute residents of these houses receive free services such as housing, food, medical treatment, and other activities.
- The Department has established a Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) to keep track of the projects receiving grants in aid. The PMU supervisors visit these sites to evaluate their effectiveness. The Organization in charge of the project is given the chance to defend its position if the PMU issues an unfavourable report.
- The Department evaluates the NGO's response, and if it is deemed unsatisfactory, the project is terminated.
Other Welfare schemes for senior citizens:
- Integrated Programme for Senior Citizens (IPSrC) under which grants in aid are given to Registered Societies/ Panchayati Raj Institutions/Local bodies/ Non-Governmental/Voluntary Organizations for running and maintaining Senior Citizens Homes/Care Homes, Mobile Medicare Units etc.
- Each State/UT is expected to plan its own State Action Plans for the welfare of senior citizens.
- The State Action Plan may comprise a long-term strategy for five years as well as Annual Action Plans.
- Department of Social Justice and Empowerment releases funds to the States/UTs for formulation and implementation of their State Action Plans.
- Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY)
- It is a Central Sector Scheme funded by the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund.
- Under the Scheme, aids and assistive living devices are provided to senior citizens belonging to the BPL category or those senior citizens who earn less than 15000/- per month and suffer from age-related disabilities such as low vision, hearing impairment, and loss of teeth and locomotor disabilities.
- The aids and assistive devices are provided to eligible beneficiaries, free of cost.
- The Scheme is being implemented by the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) which is a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- Livelihood and Skilling Initiatives for Senior Citizens
- It aims to supplement the efforts of senior citizens by providing them with opportunities to enhance their earnings and sense of self-respect.
- Senior Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED) portal allows Senior Citizens a platform to connect with private enterprises for certain positions.
- Promoting Silver Economy
- To find innovative solutions for the commonly faced problems by Senior Citizens.
- Innovative start-ups will be identified and encouraged for developing products, processes and services for the welfare of the elderly under this initiative.
- The selected start-ups/start-up ideas can be provided equity support of up to Rs.1 crore per project while ensuring that the total Government equity in the start-up should not exceed 49%.
- Channelizing CSR funds for Elderly care: This initiative is to channel the CSR funds for elderly care
- The Ministry has set up the National Helpline for Senior Citizens to address the grievance of the elders.
- Vayoshreshtha Samman- A Scheme of National Award for Senior Citizens
- National Award for Senior Citizens ‘Vayoshreshtha Sammans’ is conferred to eminent and outstanding institutions or organizations and individuals from different categories.
Q. The proportion of elderly people in India's population is rising quickly and might reach 18% by 2036. What actions may be taken to guarantee seniors a respectable standard of living?