Nepal | May 25, 2020

Ministry develops procedure to run centres for elderly

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, January 4

Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has developed the Procedure on Operation and Management of Senior Citizens Service and Meeting Centre-2019, for assisting the inter-generational transfer of knowledge, skills and experience from senior citizens.

As per the procedure, the centres will be operated at all local levels in partnership with the federal, provincial and local levels and the private sector. MoWCSC will provide grants to the local levels to operate the centres. “The centres shall be operated as per the policies, programmes and standards set by the local levels concerned,” it says.

It requires a local level to select the place to build the centre by meeting the prescribed criteria. “The location shall have access to vehicles, ambulances and fire brigade services. The centre must be facilitated with electricity supply, water and telephone. Moreover, 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 procedure reads.

The centres shall 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.

Similarly, these centres should provide mid-day meal, safe drinking water, emergency health care services and medicines.

The local levels shall spend the grants only for the purpose for which it is provided. According to the procedure, the grants shall be disbursed to the local levels through banking channel according to the approved annual programme of the MoWCSC. “The administrative expenses shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total grants,” it says. The grant amount will be anywhere between Rs 100,000 and Rs 300,000 each fiscal.

The bank account held with a commercial bank licensed from Nepal Rastra Bank will be operated by counter signatures of chief administrative officer and accounts chief of the local level. The local levels should submit audit reports of the centres to the MoWCSC within 15 days of the completion of the fiscal. The local levels shall be responsible for settling arrears indicated by the audit. The MoWCSC said it had already appropriated Rs 20 million for the centres.

Despite various plans and programmes announced by the government for the welfare of elderly people, living conditions in elderly homes remain poor. The government has already implemented the Senior Citizen Identity Card Directive to provide senior citizens with protection and social security under the constitution. As per the directive, the government will issue ID card to senior citizens through the local levels.

Any person having completed 60 years of age may submit an application to the concerned local level for ID card. Senior citizens comprise 2.2 million of the total population of the country. Senior citizens are entitled to 50 per cent discount in public transport and government hospitals on the basis of ID card.

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