Having a rich history of diverse cultures and fascinating traditions, the people of India are known for putting family before anyone else. We have always placed a huge emphasis on respecting one another, especially our elders.
One great example of this belief is the joint family system. Here, all members of the family reside together and everyone is expected to take proper care of the elders. Their needs are taken care of while they are also given enough physical and emotional support.
However, an increase in “the modern lifestyle” has led to a gradual decline in a lot of traditional beliefs, one of which is the joint family system. Recent studies have shown that a large number of elders and parents are neglected by their families.
Therefore, the government has introduced various policies and schemes for the welfare of elders. These policies are created to promote the health and independence of senior citizens across the country.
What is the Integrated Program for Older Persons?
The Integrated Program for Older Persons (IPOP) is a scheme implemented by the government since 1992. The main goal of this policy is to improve the quality of life of senior citizens.
This is done by providing them with various basic amenities such as food, shelter, medical care, and even entertainment opportunities. The scheme is designed to encourage productive as well as active aging among the senior citizens of the country.
How does it work?
Under the Integrated Program for Older Persons (IPOP), the Government of India provides support for capacity building of different NGOs, Panchayati Raj Institutions and local bodies. This scheme is run by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Since these NGOs and institutions run various old age homes and daycare centers for senior citizens, the government provides them with financial assistance to ensure the smooth functioning of these initiatives.
Also, up to 90% of the project cost is provided by the government while the remaining 10% is borne by the respective Organization or Institution. The scheme has been made flexible as it tries to fulfill the diverse needs of senior citizens.
The IPOP undertakes reinforcement and strengthening of the family while senior citizens are made aware of important issues such as lifelong preparation for old age, etc.
Benefits of Integrated Program for Elder Persons
In the year 2016-17, around 396 old age homes were given grants under IPOP. The total grant amount came up to around ₹36.99 crores which covered a total of 40,200 beneficiaries.
The Integrated Program for Elder Persons undertook several innovative projects as well that include maintenance of respite care homes and continuous care homes.
The scheme also ensured the formation of associations that assist the elderly and training centers for the caretakers of senior citizens. IPOP has also created various helplines as well as counseling centers for the benefit and help of senior citizens.
Apart from this, the Integrated Program for Elder Persons also looks after the efficient running of daycare centers for patients of Alzheimer’s, dementia as well as physiotherapy clinics for the elderly.
Eligibility for beneficiaries of IPOP
In order to get assistance under the Integrated Program for Elder Persons, the NGO should be a registered body under an appropriate Act. Also, the organization or institution should not run for the profit of any individual or a group of individuals.
Also, the eligibility criteria for beneficiaries of some important projects under IPOP are:
In April 2008, the IPOP scheme was revised where an increase in financial assistance for existing projects was decided. Government or Panchayati Raj institutions along with local bodies were made available for receiving financial assistance too.
The government has enabled online application for the Integrated Program for Elder Persons as well. Apart from this, the Government of India has offered different pension schemes and other policies for the betterment of senior citizens.
These schemes are designed to look after the important needs of senior citizens and they help them achieve a sense of social and financial security.
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