Arise in HDI of developing countries has led to increasing number of older people. Generally, people above 60 years are considered old. There are almost 810 million old people in 2015 and are projected to reach up to 2 billion by 2050 around the world.
The increasing number of older people has various effects on a country’s economy, workforce, government policies and economic status of a family and their lifestyles.
The growing importance of old age people since 1980’s has led development agencies to introduce different initiatives. The agreement to recognize older people as contributors to society is not new.
The 1980’s world assembly in Vienna on international plan of action on ageing has discussed the humanitarian and development aspects of ageing. In 2002, Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) has introduced its agenda on ageing, i.e. “Building Society for all Ages”.
Later in 2015, UN has incorporated the age inclusive agenda for Sustainable Development in its 12 goals out of total 17. The 2030 agenda: a plan for action for people, planet and prosperity (3p) concedes the importance of older people.
In a politically volatile country like Nepal, a policy on old age may not be always productive and which has led to the introduction of Older People Association (OPA).
It is a community based organization initiated by older people for the older people following active ageing as the principle. Since the early 21st century, the idea of OPA has been gaining its momentum and has become popular in different developing countries.
Developing agencies support OPA with the seed money and innovative ideas. OPA has been playing a pivotal part in strengthening the socio-economic support for old age people.
It is a multifunctional organization working in diverse range of activities such as livelihood support, healthcare, pyscho-socio support, leadership and community participation.
Thus, in Nepal also, the importance of OPA should be carefully studied and bolstered by government and development agencies. Skillful training, advocacy, social support and geographic promotions are needed for making OPA more standardized and fruitful.
Furthermore, the study on OPA and its role in effective empowerment of older people should be carefully studied and analyzed.