The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today stressed the need to promote the family system, and its valuesright from school days and teach children the need to respect elders. He urged immediate family members of the elderly and community at large to accord the highest priority to their care and wellbeing.
Addressing the gathering after releasing the book, “Health and Well Being in Late Life: Perspectives and Narratives from India” written by Dr. Prasun Chatterjee, a specialist in Geriatric Medicine, AIIMS, he described Indian family system and family values as the USP of Indian civilization.
Deploring the tendency to ape western culture, Shri Naidu called for a societal and attitudinal change and said that we must go back to the Indian family system, values, culture, and traditions. Respect for parents, Guru, and nature is ingrained in the Indian philosophy.
Expressing anguish over reports of abuse of elders and their abandonment, he said that many elders were forced to stay in old age homes. He said that it was the bounden duty of children to take good care of their parents and grandparents.
Stating that India was ageing much faster than previously thought and expected to have nearly 20 percent population of the world’s 60 years and above by 2050 with the largest number of older adults in the world, the Vice President said that one must be prepared to address all challenges and be prepared to give elders a joyous, healthy and happy late life.
Pointing out that ageing increases one’s susceptibility to many diseases and conditions, the Vice President said that there was an urgent need to set up more Geriatric Departments in medical colleges across the country in view of the increasing population of the elderly. He also asked all stakeholders in the health sector to work for the well being of the elderly and stressed that good health was the right of all, irrespective of age.
Shri Naidu appreciated the government of India for implementing the National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE). He said that the government was proactively working on lifestyle modification, non-communicable disease management, vision and hearing problem management, and accessible health care through Ayushman Bharat.
Keeping the rise in demand for specialized care for elderly people, the Vice President wanted institutes like AIIMS to be at the forefront in promoting healthy ageing.
Talking about the book, he said that it discusses preparedness for an aging individual as well as the society in the Indian context. Apart from highlighting the health issues like depression and dementia, Shri Naidu said that the book provides a detailed analysis of solutions that are practicable in low resource settings.
The President of IGNCA, Shri Ram Bahadur Rai, Director, AIIMS, Dr. Randeep Guleria, Head of Department of Geriatric Medicine, AIIMS, Dr. A. B. Dey, the Managing Director of Springer Nature, Shri Sanjiv Goswami and others were present.