Age Demands Action in India: Campaigning for better pensions
On 1 October, the UN International Day of Older Persons, HelpAge India took part in Age Demands Action. Federations of older people got together and demanded their basic rights and, specifically - improved access to India's old age pension scheme.
In India around 90% of older workers are from the unorganised labour sector and many work till the day they die.
An old age pension scheme has been mandated by national and state governments, but it is a slow-moving system that can take so long to come into effect that many older people die while waiting to receive the pension money they are legally and morally entitled to.
Better pension system needed
In a joint move with HelpAge India, federations of older Indians, filled out approximately 10,000 pension applications on behalf of older people unable to fill them out themselves. In addition, older people from villages had the opportunity to meet decision makers and to ask that the delivery of their old age pension scheme was vastly speeded up.
Ahead of India's General Election next year, we are carrying out a series of small advocacy events across India where older people can meet relevant Government officials and a local politician.
Upon hearing and seeing older people themselves, we are sure this will be a powerful and effective way to get their demands met.
Then it will be up to HelpAge India and the federations of older people and all our communities to get these pensions sanctioned.
We wait to hear more from various parts of rural India in the coming months...
Find out more about the HelpAge network's Age Demands Action campaign.