Updated: June 23, 2021 6:25:42 pm
Amid the pandemic, a government initiative to support start-ups developing products and services for the elderly has received 400 applications within three weeks of its launch.
Selected companies will be supported with government equity participation of up to Rs 1 crore and showcased on the SAGE (Seniorcare Aging Growth Engine) portal, Department of Social Justice Secretary R Subrahmanyam told The Indian Express Wednesday.
The portal, launched on June 5 by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot, is designed to be a “one-stop access” to elderly care products and services by credible start-ups, Subrahmanyam said.
Start-ups will be selected on the basis of innovative products and services, across sectors such as health, housing, care centres, and technological access — linked to finances, food and wealth management, and legal guidance.
Gehlot said that the number of elderly people is steadily increasing in the country, so there is a need to keep in mind that the elderly should remain healthy, and financially and physically active. The portal is open for applications till June 30.
Ministers of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Rattan Lal Kataria stressed the urgent need to create a robust eldercare ecosystem in India, especially amid the pandemic. An amount of Rs 100 crore has been assigned for the promotion of the silver economy, the minister said.
Subrahmanyam said the programme has been designed as per the suggestions of the Empowered Committee on start-ups for the elderly to solicit the involvement of youth and their innovative ideas for elderly care. This will help to make the programmes for elderly care a national movement than just a government programme, he said.
An allocation of Rs 25 crore has been made for the SAGE project in the current financial year.
The government will act as a facilitator, said Subrahmanyam, enabling the elderly to access the products through these identified start-ups.
India’s elderly population is on the rise, and as per surveys, the share of elders, as a percentage of the total population in the country, is expected to increase from around 7.5 per cent in 2001 to 12.5 per cent by 2026, and surpass 19.5 per cent by 2050.
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