The federal government has provided 164 local levels with conditional grants of Rs 100,000 each for the establishment and operation of senior citizens' meeting centres.

According to the annual report (2019-20) recently published by the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, the conditional grants were allocated to the local levels in accordance with the Procedure on Operation and Management of Senior Citizens Service and Meeting Centre-2019.

The senior citizens' meeting centres will be utilised for inter-generational transfer of knowledge, skills and experience gained by senior citizens in their lifetime.

The MoWCSC said that the centres would be operated at all local levels gradually in partnership with the private sector. The MoWCSC provided conditional grants to the local levels to establish and operate the centres. The local level will select a place to build the centre by meeting the prescribed criteria.

As per the MoWCSC, the location of the centre should be accessible to vehicles, ambulances and fire brigade services, along with electricity supply, water and telephone. Similarly, hospital or health facility and holy sites such as temples and rivers should be in the periphery of five kilometres, as far as possible.

The centre must have literary and religious books and good arrangement for performing devotional songs and playing musical instruments. Further, the centres should also be equipped with furniture, carpet, television, heater, fan and indoor games, besides providing mid-day meal, safe drinking water, emergency health care service and medicines.

The administrative expenses should not exceed 15 per cent of the total grants provided by the MoWCSC.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 19, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.