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State Care For Senior Citizens

Bhubaneswar: Looking at the interest of the Senior citizens, the Social Security & Empowerment Persons with Disability (SSEPD) Department has re-constituted the State Council of Senior Citizens under the chairmanship of SSEPD Minister.

As per notification, the State Council will meet once in every six months. The Council will discuss the strategies for effective implementation of the “Odisha State Policy for Senior Citizens-2016” and “Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007” and State Rules 2009 and amendment thereof.

The State Council will recommend to Government measures to be taken to improve the conditions of the Senior Citizens. It will take measures to develop awareness among senior citizens regarding their rights as envisaged in the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act and Rules.

Besides, the Council will be responsible for overall planning, monitoring and implementation of programs related to Senior Citizens in the State. 

In the meantime , expressing concern over pending of several applications under National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS), SSEPD Principal Secretary Bishnupada Sethi has asked all Collectors to clear pending applications at their districts soon. Director-in-Charge of Senior Citizen’s Welfare has been appointed as Member Secretary while the other members include SSEPD Principal Secretary, State Head Help Age India, and Founder of Bou Foundation.   

Writing a letter to all Collectors, Shri Sethi said that the National Family Benefit Scheme is an important component of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) and 24,697 beneficiaries are approved to be covered in Odisha.

Under this scheme, there is a provision of one-time financial assistance of Rs 20,000 through DBT to the dependent family members on the death of the primary breadwinner of a family, he pointed out.

But it is ascertained that only 17,921 beneficiaries in the State as on date have been assisted under NFBS. During review of the scheme, it was found that 18,343 applications in different districts are still pending with various user levels, the Principal Secretary said.

“Needless to mention that NFBS is covered under the Odisha Right to Public Service (ORTPS) Act, 2012, which mandates time-bound delivery of services to the citizens in 30 days,” Shri Sethi told the Collectors.

He directed the Collectors to review the pendency and issue necessary instructions to the officials concerned for timely action on applications pending under NFBS as FY 2023-24 is going to end soon.

Out of 18,343 pending applications, highest 1756 applications are pending in Dhenkanal district, followed by Ganjam district (1408), Mayurbhanj (1120), Angul (908), Cuttack (837), and Sundergarh (798).