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Senior citizens in desperate need of jobs
India’s high tech city of Bangalore may have provided jobs to thousands of youngsters but almost ninety percent of the half a million population of senior citizens in Bangalore, are looking for jobs as they get no pensions.
BANGALORE HAS become the tech hub of South India with most of the major IT companies having their offices here. It is a city where the young thrive, but a problem of large magnitude is eating up the social fabric of the city. According to the figures of Karnataka’s department of Welfare of disabled and senior citizens, Bangalore city has a total population of 5.28 million people. Out of this population, there are 565,668 elderly people in the city. But the shocking fact is that eighty seven percent of the 565,668 elderly people have no pension plans to meet their needs.

These senior citizens may have retired from their jobs some times ago but are now facing a financial crisis with no income or pension plans. With continuing rise in inflation, it has become difficult for them to survive in a city like Bangalore. Hence these senior citizens are all looking for jobs from which they can support themselves and their families. But in Bangalore jobs for senior citizens are not easy to find as the youngsters are preferred for all the jobs.

This is where the state government needs to take an initiative and try to provide jobs for the elderly. There are many non government organisations working for the senior citizens but a bigger effort from the part of the government is the need of the hour.
Most of these senior citizens, even after retiring from their respective jobs are completely fit physically and mentally as well. They are all in desperate need of jobs to empower themselves financially.

This is a problem not limited to the city of Bangalore but senior citizens from all over the country face it. India is home to a huge population of youngsters and in another 25 years may become the home to the highest population of senior citizens in the world. Right now there are almost eighty million people of the age of sixty all over India and again almost ninety percent of them are not covered under any pension or retirement plans.

Some of these elders do not have children to take care of them and they do need jobs to bear the monthly expenses. On the other hand, society has moved forward so briskly that many youngsters leave their parents and settle abroad and again their parents are left behind without any income to fend for themselves. In certain cases, it is more a matter of financially empowering them so that they can lead a life of dignity.

There can be several part time jobs that can be made available to the senior citizens such as, that of teachers, government officers, small scale industries and even the work from home jobs so that they can work as well as earn enough to support their family. Initiatives in this regard have been taken up by NGO’s like Nightingales Medical trust that has helped seventy two senior citizens to get jobs in the past four years. But with more than five lakh senior citizens still jobless and in dire need of incomes, the effort needs to be a much bigger one.

At least the maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens bill, 2007, should be implemented soon. The bill if passes will make it legally necessary for children to provide maintenance to their parents. As a part of the society we need to put ourselves in their shoes to imagine the trauma that they are going through and hence, introduce senior citizen jobs to financially empower them.
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