A government commission for the elderly should be formed to ensure their rights as well as overall welfare, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.
As the number of senior citizens will sharply increase in near future, special measures coupled with social awareness, government policies and sufficient budgetary allocation are crucial to ensure their welfare, they said.
Rights activists, government officials and eminent personalities came up with the suggestions at the seminar, titled “Right of the senior citizen, sustainable development and role of the media”, jointly organised by Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) and Probin Bondhu Foundation at PIB’s conference room on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons (October 1) .
The theme for the day this year is “Celebrating older human rights champions”.
Speakers also said elderly should not feel isolated or discriminated against and they should receive the support and services they need.
“By 2050, the number of children and elderly people will be same,” said National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque.
Children can be looked after by the parents but voices of the elderly are often not heard, said Reazul.
A commission can monitor the services that senior citizens will avail, he said.
The NHRC chairman, along with other distinguished personalities, was honoured at the programme.
The awardees are: veteran journalist and Ekushey Padak recipient Kamal Lohani, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Secretary General of Probin Hitoishi Sangha Dr ASM Atiqur Rahman, Founder Chairman of Boyoshko o Shishu Punorbashon Kendra (in Gazipur) Khatib Abdul Zahid Mukul, Chief Executive Officer of MAMM’s Institute of Fistula and Women’s Health Professor Sayeba Akhter and Country Director of HelpAge International Rabeya Sultana.
Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon was also honoured at the programme.
Speaking as chief guest, Menon said senior citizens should be given priority in public transport, at banks and government services.
Veteran journalist Kamal Lohani said the media should play a vital role to talk about the rights of senior citizens.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman said Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation is working for the wellbeing of senior citizens in rural areas, and urged the youth to work for the cause.
Updated On: October 03, 2018