Known as the pensioners paradise for being an attractive place to settle down after retirement,the city has been changing hues with the number of youth increasing over the years in the IT and education hub. However,there still are more senior citizens associations in the city than that of any other age group.
They carry out a host of social activities and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC),recognising their efforts,has included them in the group of social organisations that could claim at least Rs 15,000 per month from the civic body to run their activities.
The contribution of senior citizen associations was discussed and appreciated in the standing committee meeting where elected representatives said the senior citizens associations have been carrying out activities like helping poor students by funding their education,providing medicines to the poor,keeping surroundings clean,creating awareness on saving water and electricity,holding lectures on various subjects for uplift of society and participating in civic activities.
There is so much for social cause being done by senior citizens associations. However,they are pensioners and have limited revenue to keep up their activities. Hence,it is necessary to recognise their social work and encourage them, said Shiv Sena leader Prithviraj Sutar.
As per the Municipal Corporation Act,the PMC makes a budgetary allocation of Rs 30 lakh for funding social organisations. There is a provision of giving a maximum of Rs 3 lakh to one organisation a year.
After the demand for funding senior citizens associations,the civic administration gave its opinion in favour of the demand and has given permission to fund associations seeking financial help, said municipal secretary Sunil Parkhi.
However,associations seeking help will have to apply to the PMC and meet norms set for social organisations to get the funds.
The PMC decision will help associations to ensure their social activities continue. We have a lot of free time and the only thing that was falling short was sufficient money to carry forward our activities and the PMC assistance would be helpful, said Sunil Naik,member of Sangharsh Senior Citizen Association.
He said his association has been contributing to keeping Taljai hill green and the money that would be made available to them would be used to buy equipment for watering trees on the hill.
Sarika Joshi of Ekta Senior Citizen Association said they run a laughter club and yoga centre for citizens of all ages free of cost. There are some expenses the association has to incur for cleaning the areas where the exercises are conducted and providing medication to citizens if needed. The PMC fund will equip us for that, she said.