LAHORE - International Day of Older Persons on Thursday went unnoticed throughout the country, showing governments apathy about the importance of day and welfare of aging people Government indifference could be gauged by fact that no special arrangement were made to mark the day. PPP-led government also did not bother to launch awareness programmes, seminars, functions and walks to highlight the significance of the International Day of Older Persons. The Ministry of Social Welfare is the responsible to look after the welfare of senior citizens. In addition, the National Council for Social Welfare also functions but these bodies have failed to come up to the expectations of older persons. As the government has never set the priority to provide even basic facilities to older persons, so no special facilities are seen at hospitals, airports or railway stations, road transport and at other public utility services. Every subsequent govt makes rhetoric announcements to give false hopes to older people or senior citizens and makes pledges to facilitate them, but so far no significant measure is visible. It is estimated that the number of old people (60 years and above) in the country is touching eight million (6% of the total population). By 2050 this ratio is projected to rise to 15 per cent. Being a society influenced by religion and cultural and social traditions, respect for the elderly is still the norm in the country. Families provide financial and other help to older persons. Out-migration of younger family members is changing family structure and adds to the insecurity in old age. UN projections say older persons are increasingly seen as contributors to development, whose abilities to act for the betterment of themselves and their societies should be woven into policies and programmes at all levels. Currently, 64 per cent of all older persons live in the less developed regions - a number expected to approach 80 per cent by 2050. At present the system of values based on tradition and religion serve to secure the material and moral well-being of the elderly. Government workers are eligible for pensions. The world is in the midst of a unique and irreversible process of demographic transition that will result in older populations everywhere. 'Sense of insecurity compels people to leave country' Punjab University Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) organised a seminar on Brain Drain and Its Implications for Pakistan here at the centre on Thursday. Supreme Court of England & Wales Solicitor Javaid Iqbal Wattoo was the keynote speaker. In his lecture, he focused on the reasons of brain drain in Pakistan. According to him, it was the sense of deprivation and insecurity that compels people to leave the country and they go abroad. He said that it was the duty of government to create opportunities for young generation and intellectuals. They should be provided with conducive research environment. He also quoted the examples of the developed countries like China & Malaysia. Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) Director Prof Dr Muhammad SaleemMazhar and former Dean Faculty of Oriental Learning Prof Dr KhawajaMuhammad Zakaria also spoke on the occasion.