Thiruvananthapuram: With the proportion of aged population in Kerala estimated to reach 20 per cent in the next ten years, the state government is getting ready to prepare its offices and employees to become more 'senior citizen friendly'.
As part of the initiative, a mass awareness programme related to dealing with old persons will be launched in all government, quasi and co-operative sector offices in the state on October 1, the International Day of Older Persons.
The state Social Justice Department is the nodal agency to implement the programme with the main objective being to create awareness about the need of protecting old persons and recognising their contributions to the society.
According to demographic figures, the proportion of aged people in the total population of the state is rising fast.
The proportion of aged population, which stood at 5.83 per cent of the total population in 1961, rose to 8.82 per cent in 1991, 9.71 in 2001 and 12.83 in 2011, it said.
The proportion of the aged population is estimated to reach 16 per cent in 2021 and 20 per cent in 2026.
The government recently issued a circular directing all state-run departments and agencies to observe the International Day of Older Persons and carry out several programmes at their respective office to mark the occasion.
The programmes, under the government's Old Age Policy, will be organised in all state-run offices.
A top official said institutional-level get-together of senior officers aged at 60 and retired hands would be convened in all government, semi-government and co-operative sector offices of the state on the day.
"It is part of the government's various programmes to make Kerala 'senior citizens friendly'. Our core objective is to create an environ where aged persons get protection, respect and relief as their right," Social Justice Department Special Secretary A Shajahan told PTI.
He said the awareness programmes was to create such a positive environ.
Senior officers and retired people would share their memories and personal and professional experiences during the get-together meetings, which would last for one to two hours, he said, adding that each meeting would also discuss ways to make the respective institutions senior citizen-friendly.
Based on feedback from the meetings, an action plan would be drawn up in this regard and submitted to the government, the official added.
Besides this, a programme titled 'Thanalekiyavarkk Thanl' (protection to those who protected) also would be launched in schools to bring students as part of the ambitious programme.