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April 30 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


With India’s demographic landscape rapidly evolving, the care for the elderly population has emerged as a pressing challenge.  

As the country experiences the benefits of its demographic dividend, it also witnesses a significant rise in the elderly population.  

Status of Elderly Population in India 

Projected Growth: 

  • The elderly population (aged 60 years and above) in India is expected to increase substantially, from 100 million in 2011 to 230 million in 2036.  
  • By 2050, they are projected to constitute nearly one-fifth of the total population. 

Old Age-Dependence Ratio: 

  • The old age-dependence ratio, indicating the number of persons aged 60-plus per 100 persons in the age group of 15-59 years, has been steadily increasing.  
  • It rose from 10.9% in 1961 to 14.2% in 2011 and is projected to reach 20.1% by 2031. 

Need for Care for the Elderly Population 

Channelization of Experience: 

  • Elderly individuals possess valuable personal and professional experiences that can be channeled for the benefit of society.  
  • Providing care for them enables the utilization of their expertise and wisdom. 

Generational Link: 

  • Elderly members serve as crucial generational links, imparting values, morals, and stability to families and communities.  
  • They play a significant role in transferring cultural heritage to the younger generation. 

Social Harmony: 

  • The cultural insights and social experiences of the elderly contribute to fostering social harmony and cohesion.  
  • They serve as bulwarks against intolerance, violence, and hate crimes, promoting a sense of unity and understanding. 

Moral and Ethical Responsibility: 

  • It is incumbent upon society to fulfill its moral and ethical responsibility towards caring for the elderly.  
  • Recognizing their contributions and ensuring their well-being acknowledges their lifelong investments in the welfare of society. 

Challenges Faced by Elderly Population in India 

Social Neglect: 

  • Elderly individuals often face social neglect, stemming from factors such as changing family structures, globalization, and Western education.  
  • This neglect can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness among the elderly. 

Abuse and Exploitation: 

  • Elderly individuals are vulnerable to various forms of abuse, including physical, psychological, and financial exploitation.  
  • They may suffer from emotional harm due to verbal or emotional abuse inflicted upon them. 

Intersection of Caste and Age: 

  • The intersection of caste and age exacerbates the challenges faced by elderly individuals, particularly those from lower castes who continue to work for livelihood even in old age 
  • This disparity underscores issues of economic vulnerability and social discrimination. 

Feminization of Ageing: 

  • Elderly women, especially widows, encounter stringent societal norms and biases that limit their access to resources and opportunities.  
  • They often face neglect, abuse, and exploitation, further exacerbating their vulnerabilities. 

Government Initiatives for Elderly Care in India 

National Policy for Older Persons 2011: 

  • The policy aims to encourage provisions for the elderly’s welfare, including healthcare facilities, financial security, and support from non-governmental organizations. 

Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): 

  • This scheme provides old-age pensions to individuals above 60 years belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category, ensuring financial assistance for their sustenance. 

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY): 

  • The scheme offers physical aids and assisted-living devices to senior citizens belonging to the BPL category, enhancing their quality of life and independence. 

Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana: 

  • This scheme provides social security to elderly persons aged 60 and above, safeguarding their interest income against market fluctuations. 

Way Forward 

Formalization of Caregiving Economy: 

  • Recognize caregiving as a formal sector, providing training and better workplace conditions for caregivers. This ensures quality care for the elderly while creating employment opportunities. 

Comprehensive Policy on Home-based Care: 

  • Develop a comprehensive policy on home-based care, streamlining vocational training, caregiver roles, and career progression. Establish transparent registries and grievance redressal mechanisms for caregivers. 

Passage of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019: 

  • Expedite the passage of the bill to regulate home-based care for older people, ensuring their protection and well-being. 

Strengthening Pension Systems: 

  • Allocate special budgets to enhance pension systems, ensuring adequate coverage and financial security for the elderly population. 

Replication of Time Bank Initiative: 

  • Implement initiatives akin to Switzerland’s time bank model, encouraging intergenerational support and reciprocity in caregiving. 

Raising Retirement Age: 

  • Consider gradually raising the retirement age to balance opportunities for younger generations while retaining experienced professionals in the workforce. 

Proactive Government Policies: 

  • Implement proactive policies focusing on lifestyle modifications, disease management, and accessible healthcare to address the health needs of the elderly population effectively. 


Addressing the care needs of the elderly population in India requires concerted efforts from multiple stakeholders, including the government, communities, and civil society organizations. By prioritizing their well-being and ensuring inclusive policies and interventions, India can create a society that respects and supports its elderly citizens. 

Mains Question: 

  1. “Discuss the demographic trends and challenges associated with the growing elderly population in India, along with the government initiatives and future strategies to address their care needs.” (150 WORDS)


April 30
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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