Is India prepared for 300 million seniors in 2050? With the government's safety net for the elderly in a shambles, their sunset years don't look promising.
India now has over 100 million citizens over the age of 60, five times the number in 1950. Seniors now make up 8.6 per cent of the population. By 2050, India will have nearly 300 million seniors and make up about a fifth of the population, as per projections from the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat.
Old but not gold
India now has over 100 million citizens over the age of 60, five times the number in 1950.
Joint families used to offer a support system for the aged
Several companies have launched retirement homes across the country.
'Just increasing pensions is not enough'
Retirement homes are now big business, with even big realtors venturing into it.
Poor quality of care
Mumbai’s homes are plagued by problems such as lack of financial resources, shortfall of care-givers, and poor quality of care.
Most homes in Delhi are run by NGOs
Most homes in the capital are run by NGOs, with several getting grants from government agencies.
Lower middle class left out
Interestingly, the elderly males prefer to use one of the 28 Corporation-run night shelters rather than join a home.
Filled to capacity
Kolkata has about 100 centrally funded homes, with an average capacity of 25-30 persons.
Read the feature in The Hindu dt. 5th Apr 2015