‘More old age homes in phases’

Bangladesh government has ability to build more old age homes for its senior citizens. Becoming old would not be any issue in near future. Government is planning in collaboration with the stakeholders to address older person’s rights. 

Planning Minister Muhammad Abdul Mannan made the comments at a roundtable organized by Bangla daily Prorthom Alo, and Help Age International in the capital on Wednesday.

The minister said we will become a developed country soon. Government always has a major focus on old age people. This year, Tk 17 lakh budget has been allocated for old age people as noncontributory pension. Old age people are not burden to society.”

The government also has a plan to provide medicine and health service under the insurance scheme, he added.

At the discussion, former minister Rashed Khan Menon said, “Perspective of people on old age people should be changed. This would not be a severe problem in future.”

Mentionable, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday informed the parliament that her government has a plan to bring all citizens under national health insurance coverage for ensuring health service. 

At the round table discussion, warning about upcoming days, stakeholders urged to monitor the old age homes facility. 

National social security strategy states that people with 90 or up will receive noncontributory old age pension from government. In addition, policy has to be taken to ensure social security like western countries.

HelpAge International Bangladesh country director Rabeya Sultana said, “All young people will become old; so, leaving them behind, we cannot move forward toward a sustainable development. We have to listen to them, at the same time we have to speak about their freedom of choice.”

“Family, society, and political parties have to address the issue of old age people. They are assets to any country. Old age people have capability to contribute to our economy. Government should reassess the thought on age limitation in job sector. Before death, an experienced man can serve, physically or mentally,” Sultana added.

“Three things needed to take care of during old age: 24/7 health care facility, a bed and a person to talk. We are not individually motivated to our senior citizens, we need to be respectful to our old age citizen and must ensure their personal freedom of choice” said Shafikul Islam, country director, Action on Disability and Development International (ADDI)