THE population of senior citizens in Pakistan is on the increase and within a few years it may reach 13 pc of the total population. I suppose there is draft, prepared by higher authorities in the past, but it is still hanging in the balance and yet to be presented and passed through parliament. Before it reaches any final shape, I would like to submit a few suggestions which may be included in the bill:
-Special discounts be given to senior citizens for bus, railway and air fares, free annual medical checkups in all private hospitals.
A special discount be given for treatment and medicines, separate counters in all hospitals, banks and supermarkets be set up to avoid queues and long waits.
— Availability of wheel-chairs and constructions of ramps be made compulsory for all government and public buildings; all multinational organisations and big local business companies be advised to spend a substantial amount of their CSR budget for the benefit of senior citizens; builders of new townships and residential colonies be instructed to build a an old home for senior citizens in their new projects
— The EOBI be revitalised and reformed. The employers be asked to increase their contribution up to 10 pc to the EOBI. The existing private hospitals, hostels, rest-houses and clubs can allocate a few rooms used as old homes for the senior citizens.
All TV Channels be advised to telecast special programmes, emphasizing the care of old parents in the light of our religion and culture.
Senior citizens have already played their innings well by serving the country. Now it is the responsibility of the government and society to pay back and treat them with respect and dignity and make a difference in the quality of their lives.