SHIKARPUR               -            In view of current trends and the problems being faced by senior citi­zens in the country, who are our as­sets, the Sindh Assembly had passed Senior Citizen Act-2014 in 2016 for the welfare and protection of senior citizens. Section 9 (3) of the Act states that the senior citizens shall be allowed the following privi­leges based on senior citizen card: free of charge entry in public mu­seums, libraries, parks and other recreational facilities; financial support to deserving senior citi­zens; separate counters for them at hospitals; concession in medi­cal and medicine charges; sepa­rate medical wards for them; and membership of organisation of senior citizens corps.

Talking to this scribe, Sabiha Bhut­to, the advocacy officer, Help Age International Project at Shikarpur, expressed her concern over delay in the implementation of Senior Citizen Welfare Bill even though they (old citizens) were 6.8 per­cent of the total population and this percentage would rise to 15.8 percent by 2050.

Praising the tremendous efforts made by the government of Sindh for getting passed the Senior Citi­zens Welfare Bill from Sindh Assem­bly in 2016, she urged the media and elected representatives to play their role in ensuring its early implemen­tation and also highlight the issues being faced by senior citizens due to delay in its implementation.

Ms Bhutto further said the pro­posed law will work to safeguard the fundamental rights of senior citizens and ensure their uplift and protec­tion within society and after imple­menting the 50 percent concession will be provided to them on both public and private within and inter-city transport. “Apart from this, a concession will be provided to them on the railway and PIA tickets on fill­ing prescribed forms.

“The bill also envisages conces­sion of 25 percent on drugs and medicines for the treatment of age-related illnesses of senior citizens,” she added. She further said that there were at least 50 associations in Shikarpur for the old people.

Replying to a question regard­ing the establishment of the old age houses she said that old age houses are also mentioned in Senior Citizen Act and after its [Senior Citizen Act] implementation government also will establish old age houses to take care of old age people.

Ms. Sabiha also urged upon the general public and youngsters to respect their parents mainly senior citizens.