GIS - October 17, 2012: The President of the Republic, Mr Rajkeswur Purryag, GCSK, GOSK, proceeded yesterday to the official launching of the “Senior Citizens Tours” luxury coach at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR) Recreation Centre for the Elderly at Belle Mare.
The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions handed over of keys to the Manager of the Centre, Mr. R. Patpur. The vehicle will be attached to the SSR Recreation Centre for the Elderly of the locality. Another luxury coach has been acquired and will be attached to the Recreation Centre of Pointes-aux-Sables. The total amount of the two coaches is Rs 7.3m.
The President, who was the Chief Guest, and Lady Purryag, participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the SSR bust followed by a guided visit of the Centre. The National Anthem was then played and observed, before the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, Mr. R. Duva Pentiah, made a welcome address.
Song items were performed by Neelam Murden, and Priscilla Orger. A drama focused on the sometimes strenuous relationship between young professionals and their old-age parents, as well as family values was presented by a group of senior citizens.
In his address President Purryag outlined the incommensurable contribution of the elderly to the social and economic development of Mauritius. Elderly citizens are always imbibed with wisdom and they know how to transmit relevant family and cultural values, he said.
For her part Minister Sheila Bappoo recalled demographic transitions that Mauritius is facing and underlined the need for more protection and respect for the elderly. The government is doing its maximum for the wellbeing of elderly citizens, as well as preparing the ground to be able to face adequately realities with regard to population ageing.
Mauritius presently has an elderly population of 164 500 which represents 13% of the total population. Comparatively, in 1972 the elderly population represented 6% of the population, while in 2000 it was 9%. The current budget for Social Security amounts to Rs 11.3 billion, including Rs 7.25 billion for old-age pension.
A new Elderly Care Centre will be opened in Floréal next week.