GIS - 01 October, 2019: The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, highlighted the various measures and initiatives taken by the Government to cater for the welfare of the elderly community and to ensure that the latter lead a pleasant and comfortable life in the best possible conditions.
He was speaking as the Chief guest during a ceremony organised by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, today, at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles, to mark the International Day of Older Persons 2019 celebrations at national level. Several Ministers and Members of the National Assembly were present at the event.
The Prime Minister expressed his wish to double the actual monthly Basic Retirement Pension of Rs 6, 210 to Rs 13, 500 if he is elected for a second mandate. The increase in the Basic Retirement Pension, he said, reflects the intention of the Government to further valorise the contributions of older persons and to recognise their past efforts in shaping the socio-economic and cultural development of the country.
He stated that the elderly population, with their enriching life experience, represent an essential guide for the younger generation and the Mauritian society, as a whole, must benefit from their advice and principles so as to foster a harmonious society imbued with moral values and principles. He condemned any kind of negligence, act of physical violence or mental torture vis-à-vis older persons and appealed to the youth to reconsider their attitudes and mindset and to treat the elderly with due respect and care.
As regards the improvement of the quality of life of senior citizens, Prime Minister Jugnauth enumerated some key measures namely the setting up of two homes to accommodate low-income elderly residents living alone; setting up of more recreational centres; availability of home healthcare services; expansion of hospital and sports infrastructure as well as health care facilities, amongst others.
He also highlighted the need for old age people to engage in regular physical activities and adopt a healthier lifestyle while adding that their long life can be an asset to the country’s development goals. On this note, the Prime Minister reiterated his pledge to assure the well-being, protection, rights and improve the lifestyle of the elderly community.
For his part, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, stated that it is high time to put a full stop to violence and discrimination against older persons while adding that they share equal rights as any other citizen. He recalled that some 20 Elderly Watch Committees have been put in place across the island to identify and report cases of elder abuse and added that hotlines namely 199 and 172, are also available to report cases.
International Day of Older Persons 2019
The United Nations declared 01 October as the International Day of Older Persons in 1990 to pay tribute to the community of elders and urged every Member State to celebrate the event to raise awareness on the issues affecting the elderly and acknowledge their contribution to the society. The theme retained for this year is “The Journey to Age Equality” which reminds people that there should be no discrimination on ground of age and that everybody, irrespective of his or her age, should be treated equally.
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