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Mukherjee confers first National Award for Senior Citizens

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President Pranab Mukherjee presented the first National Awards for Senior Citizens -- Vayoshreshtha Samman 2013 -- at a function to mark International Day of Older Persons here today.
 
The National Award for Best Institution for providing services to senior citizens and awareness generation  went to Vrudha Sevashram, Sangli in Maharashtra.
 
The award for the Best State in implementing the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007 and providing services and facilities to senior citizens went to Department of Social Justice, Government of Madhya Pradesh.
 
The National Award for Centenarian Senior Citizen was given to Ms. Narasamma, of Krishnapura village in Tumkur district of Karnataka.
 
The National Award for Iconic Mother was presented to Ms Sindhutai Shrihari Sapkal of Pune, Maharashtra.
 
The National Award for Lifetime Achievement was given to Mr Vinodbhai Vrajlal Valia of Borivali, Mumbai.
 
The National Award for Creative Art was conferred on Ms. Nalini Vinay Mehta of Sion (East), Mumbai.
 
The National Award for Sports & Adventure Award (Male) went to Dr. G. S. Randhawa and for females was given to Ms. Damayanti V. Tambay, both of Delhi.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mukherjee said the elderly in the country were increasingly facing a variety of problems associated with modernity and growth and also the attitudinal change in social values. 
 
"I am aware that the Government of India seeks to formulate and implement sound policies for their financial and food security, their health care and other vital requirements to improve the quality of their lives. Central Ministries and Departments have been co-coordinating to implement specific schemes and provide concessions and facilities in the form of income tax rebates, rail and air concessions and higher interest rates for bank deposits etc.," he said.
 
He said the enactment of “The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007” was a very positive step in the right direction.
 
"I have been informed that the Model Rules brought out by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment prescribe, in detail, the duties of the police for protecting the life and property of senior citizens," he said.
 
Mr Mukherjee said elders themselves could organize themselves to collectively identify the areas where they would like Government and society to intervene and bring improvements in their lives. 
 
"Senior Citizens are a vibrant resource as we move forward. There is no reason why they should not have employment opportunities and income security. Older women must, similarly, be protected from discrimination, neglect and inequalities. Today, medical advances have enabled practitioners and institutions to give better care to the elderly. I would call upon the medical fraternity to take more initiatives that further facilitate the elderly and make their visits to doctors and hospitals a pleasant experience, not a nightmare," he added.
 
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