The Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana was introduced by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the year 2017.
Reason to Introduce
This initiative was taken in order to provide physical aids and Assisted Living Devices to Senior Citizens who belong to the Below Poverty Line category and are suffering from any age-related disabilities or informalities. These aids which are provided by the Ministry would help in restoring the bodily functions near to normal.
Very often we come across a lot of senior citizens who do not have enough money or who cannot afford to even meet their needs so that their physical body can move. This initiative focuses on helping these citizens to live a next to normal life so that they can live peacefully without much pain.
What is the scheme about?
This yojana focuses on improving the lives of those senior citizens who are below the poverty line and have age related disabilities such as low vision, hearing impairment, loss of teeth, etc. Here, they focus in providing physical aids and Assisted Living Devices to senior citizens in this category.
The entire scheme is funded by the Central Government. It is the first of its kind Central Sector Scheme and predicted to benefit 5,20,000 senior citizens. The expenditure for this scheme is met by the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund”. This fund was notified in the year 2016. All those unclaimed amounts from the small savings accounts, Public Provident Fund, etc. are transferred to this Fund. The sole implementing agency to implement this scheme would be Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), which is a Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The ALIMCO also undertook free maintenance of these devices for a period of one year.
The senior citizens who are aged above 60 years would be assisted with these aid and physical devices which would be required for their sustainability. The government has selected a list of cities where this scheme would be implemented. The senior citizens should have a valid Below Poverty Line card issued by the concerned authority.
If there are multiple disabilities faced by the individual then a device shall be provided to support each disability. The devices shall be distributed in a camp mode. For those senior citizens who are aged 80 years or more, the devices are provided to them at their doorsteps so that they do not have to move around and go to far off places in order to avail this facility.
The devices that are supported in this scheme are walking sticks, elbow crutches, walkers/crutches, tripods/quad pods, hearing aids, wheelchair, artificial dentures and spectacles.
The beneficiaries for the scheme shall be selected by the State Governments and Union Territories through a committee which is chaired by the Deputy Commissioner or the District Collector. 30% of these beneficiaries shall be women.
The Committee can collect and utilize the data of these beneficiaries by making a note of those people who receive Old Age Pension under any of the schemes of the states or union territories for their identification as belonging to the Below Poverty Line.
On February 29, 2020, PM Modi was to distribute assistive aids and devices to divyangjan and senior citizens which was the biggest distribution camp. The step was taken with the intention to prepare these senior citizens to face their day to day challenges.
As on January 25, 2019 there were a total of 325 districts that were chosen for implementation of Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana. As on this date, 77 distribution camps were organized that benefitted 70,939 senior citizens.
A few of the states that implemented this scheme and benefitted a number of senior citizens are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, etc.
As per the 2011 census, there are about 10.38 crore senior citizens in our country. More than half of the senior citizen population comprises senior citizens who reside in the rural areas and a sizable number of them suffer from various disabilities.
The Government is responsible to take care of the citizens of the country and therefore the they did take an initiative to help those who could not help themselves and since 2017 they have helped a huge number of senior citizens to get their difficult life to a next to normal life by just having a minimal dependence on their caregivers or family, as all these devices provided are free of cost.
The families that fall under the Below Poverty Line category do not have enough to have two meals in a day and therefore, to purchase these aids for the senior citizens would be impossible. This scheme has helped them to be relieved of that burden and made their lives better.
The Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana has proved to be a boon to the senior citizens of the country as it helps them to live a near to normal life and overcome their disability or infirmity.