People above 60 years of age are considered as 'old' and constitute the 'elderly' segment of the population. The Indian aged population is currently the second largest in the world. The number of the over 60 population in India will increase from 76 million in 2001 to 137 million by 2021. The shift in age structure makes issues of social security and economic support for elderly people very crucial. India, with its predominantly agrarian based economy, has inadequate social security provisions for its older people. Living arrangements of older people are influenced by several factors such as gender, health status, and presence of disability, socio-economic status and societal traditions. Generations of older Indians have found shelter in the extended family system during these social, economic or psychological livings. However, the traditional family is fast disappearing, even in rural areas. With urbanization, families are becoming nuclear, smaller and are not always capable of caring for older relatives. Yet, in India, older people are still cared for by their families. Living in old age homes is neither popular nor feasible. Allowing parents to live in old age homes draws criticism from the family network and society at large. Living alone is usually due to widowhood, childlessness or migration of children. Women in Indian society are vulnerable throughout their lifetime and that increases into their old age. Like any other crisis ageing is a challenge and a problem. Mother Teresa Charitable Trust is raising resources to protect the rights of India's elderly and provide relief to them through various interventions. We wish to voice the needs of India's 100 million "grey" populations, and directly impact the lives of these elders through our services.
MTCT is among the many NGOs in India that is working towards the development of the elderly of our society. We aim to provide motivation, information, and inspiration for senior citizens to live a productive life. Older persons should have access to adequate food, water, shelter, clothing and health care through the provision of income, family and community support. They should have the opportunity to work or to have access to other income-generating opportunities.
They should have access to health care to help them maintain the optimum level of physical, mental and emotional well-being. They should also be able to live in dignity and security and should be free from exploitation and mental and physical abuse. Let us support their causes. Support us….