- 02 October, 2017:
The sacrifices, care and support of our elders are highly laudable as these have enabled us as a country to stand on our own.
The community, in particular, our youths, should reconsider their attitudes, mindset and actions regarding them. It is imperative that we recognise their worth, their contribution and bestow them the respect and dignity they deserve.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement yesterday at the J&J Auditorium in Phoenix. He was speaking at an event held in the context of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons. The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, and other eminent personalities were also present.
Prime Minister Jugnauth underlined that it is an opportune time to take stock of the contribution of our elders in the development and stability of the country as well as their evolution in the society. On that note, he reiterated his pledge to assure the well-being, protection, rights and improve the quality of life of this vulnerable group.
Government has designed innovative policies and public services specifically targeted to improve the quality of life of elderly persons and a budget of Rs 14.3 Billion has been allocated for the old age pension programme, highlighted the Prime Minister. Other initiatives include: the setting up of two modern homes; improving health care; adapting infrastructure, and strengthening social protection, he added.
He stated that Mauritius currently has a population of some 205,000 aged 60 plus and that is set to increase over the years. While population ageing is poised to be a challenge, we deem it is important to consider them as a pool of knowledgeable contributors, he underscored. According to him, their long life journey can be an asset to the country’s development goals as they will act as anchors, guides and advisors.
On his part, Minister Sinatambou announced the setting up of a fourth recreational centre at Riambel, for which Rs 200 millions has been earmarked, as part of Government’s mission to ensure that the elderlies live and age in dignity. This will enable our seniors to keep fit, active and healthy and lead a dynamic life, he added.
He further urged the community to discard prevalent stereotypes and prejudicial attitudes towards the old age group. The society should provide them with enabling environments where they are no longer marginalised.
International Day of Older Persons
The theme of the 2017 International Day of Older Persons, ‘Stepping into the Future: Tapping the talents, contributions and participations of older persons in society’, is about enabling and expanding the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large. It focuses on the pathways that support full and effective participation in old age, in accordance with old persons’ basic rights, needs and preferences.
This year’s theme underscores the link between tapping the talents and contributions of older persons and achieving the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
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