Senior citizens take to streets demanding respect to work

KATHMANDU: Senior citizens organised a rally coinciding with the International Workers Day, also popularly known as the May Day, demanding respect to work, on Sunday.

The participants of the rally, including some 95-year-olds, were demonstrating in order to draw the society's attention to the fact that their labour was going unrecognised without any evaluation despite their huge contribution to the country's development.

Through the rally, the elderly citizens wanted to give a message to the younger generation that it was with their hard work and contribution that the youth became what they were today, and hence they needed to respect and care for the elderly.

The senior citizens have also called on the government to make arrangements for providing them employment opportunities as long as their health permitted and to respect their labour.

The participants of the rally were holding placards with photos of fellow senior citizens weaving rugs and carrying heavy loads.

As per the 2011 National Census, the elderly population is 8.41 per cent of the total population of the country (26,494,504).

It is stated that 28 per cent of the 8,857 people killed in the devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015 were elderly citizens. Similarly, many of the 22,304 injured due to the earthquake were senior citizens.

The rally that started from the Shanti Batika at Ratnapark marched up to Bhadrakali where it turned into a mass meeting.

Addressing the mass meeting, president of the Aging Nepal, an NGO working for the senior citizens, Krishna Murari Gautam 'Chatyang Master' called on the government to consider increasing the age limit in civil service given the increase in the life expectancy of the Nepalis. Similarly, he called for maintaining the working age between 15 to 59 in the labour market.

President of the Help Age International Nepal, Khemraj Upadhyaya, said we should give due respect to the senior citizens and to their work.