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Chandigarh ranks first among UTs in offering quality of life to aged

Quality of Life for Elderly Index was released by Dr Bibek Debroy, chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), two days ago.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
August 15, 2021 8:49:11 am
Chandigarh ranks first among UTs in offering quality of life to agedChandigarh has been ranked one of the best cities in “Quality of Life for Elderly Index”. (Representational Image)

Chandigarh has been ranked one of the best cities in “Quality of Life for Elderly Index”. Chandigarh ranked first in the Union Territories and got a score of 63.78, the best scores of all states and Union Territories.

Quality of Life for Elderly Index was released by Dr Bibek Debroy, chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), two days ago. The Index has been created by the Institute for Competitiveness at the request of EAC-PM and it sheds light on an issue often not mentioned — problems faced by the elderly.

The report identifies the regional patterns of ageing across Indian states and assesses the overall ageing situation in India. The report presents a deeper insight into how well India is doing to support the well-being of its ageing population.

It includes four pillars: Financial well-being, social well-being, health system and income security, and eight sub-pillars: economic empowerment, educational attainment & employment, social status, physical security, basic health, psychological wellbeing, social security and enabling environment.

The index sees the adequacy of pensions and other forms of income support, which, though critical, often narrows policy thinking and debate about the needs of this age group.

The index highlights that the best way to improve the lives of the current and future generations of older people is by investing in health, education and employment for young people today.

The Health System pillar observes the highest national average, 66.97 at an all-India level, followed by 62.34 in Social Well-being. Financial Well-being observes a score of 44.7, which is lowered by the low performance of 21 States across the Education Attainment & Employment pillar, which showcases scope for improvement.

The report signifies that the states have performed particularly worse in the Income security pillar because over half of the states have a score below the national average, i.e., 33.03 in Income security, which is the lowest across all pillars.

These pillar-wise analyses help states assess the state of the elderly population and identify existing gaps that obstruct their growth.

Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are top-scoring regions in aged and relatively aged states, respectively while Chandigarh and Mizoram are top-scoring regions in Union Territory and North-East states category.

The aged states refer to states with an elderly population of more than five million, whereas relatively aged states refer to states with an elderly population of less than five million.

WHAT CITY RESIDENTS FEEL

Gone are the days when Chandigarh was a paradise for the elders enjoying good parks, fresh air, less traffic. Now this luxury is no more with fast traffic, deteriorating parks, street dogs and increasing crime are some of the issues that are confronting the elderly life.

J S Gogia, 76, Co-Admin, CFORWO and general secretary, FOSWAC

City Beautiful is the best city for senior citizens to in settle after retirement, having a lot of parks for morning /evening walks, well-equipped with hospitals. Beat staff of police used to be very friendly and helpful till Shri Luthra was the DGP. But for the last three years beat staff has been withdrawn. Snatching incidents had increased manifold. Now beat staff is on paper only. We expect the Administration to restore the system which was prevalent three years back as new Advisor and new DGP have joined recently.

AC Dhawan, 73, president, Sector 45 RWA

Chandigarh is comparatively better than other cities for quality of life. But there are problems as well. We have to stand in queues while depositing bills at Sampark centres, availing bank services and purchasing tickets from bus stand as we are not technically literate for many online services. Police and hospitals should give top priority while dealing with complaints and proper complaints centres should b established. Senior citizens should also be taken care of in case of any problem. Some entertainment sources should be there where elders can pass their time. Concession should be given in water and electricity to elders. Administration should duly recognize/ honour their good work in public interest.

Surinder Verma, 73, chairman, Citizens Awareness Group, Chandigarh*

Most of the government employees, after retirement, have settled in Chandigarh in their own houses. They are getting monthly pensions to live without financial dependence upon their children. Best medical treatment facilites are available here. Neighborhood parks and green belt are there for the evening and morning walk. Market facilities are not far from them. In comparison to other Indian cities, quality of air and drinking water are good. They are satisfied with their lives and live happily.

Kidar Nath Sharma, 84, president, Sector 46 RWA

I think it is a bit of exaggeration that the quality of life of senior citizens is very good. No body from police station of Sector 26 ever came to meet any senior citizen to ask about their problems which is their duty. I am president of Welfare Association and also a super senior citizen. No one comes to ask about senior citizens of the sector. Only those have decent life who have money to spend for their comfort or those few who have good children who take care of them.

Bhupinder Kaur Sandhu, 83, president, Sector 27 RWA

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