There has been an constant increase in the number of elderly people in India. The number of people who are elderly has grown to 1.98 crore in the year 1951, to 7.6 crore by 2001 and 10.38 crore in 2011. The projected figures suggest that the population of 60+ people in India is expected to rise to 14.3 crore by 2021 and 17.3 crore by 2026. The constant increase in life expectancy indicates there are more and more living longer. The general improvement in medical facilities over time is one of the major reasons for the continued increase in the percentage of seniors. Insuring that they do not just have longer lives, but live an enviable, secure and fulfilling life is a huge issue.
The values and norms in the Indian society stressed being respectful and caring for those who are old. But, in the last few years the society is experiencing an accelerating but definitive loss of the family unit known as the joint system in which many parents are being ignored by their families and are exposed to a lack of physical, emotional and financial assistance. The elderly are confronted with numerous issues due to the lack of social security. It is clear that aging is now an enormous social problem and it is essential to cater to the economic and medical needs of the elderly as well as create a supportive social environment that is tolerant and responsive to the demands of seniors.
Homeslessness in India:
According to Wikipedia
“Homelessness is a major issue in India. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines ‘homeless’ as those who do not live in a regular residence due to lack of adequate housing, safety, and availability. The United Nations Economic and Social Council Statement has a broader definition for homelessness; it defines homelessness as follows: ‘When we are talking about housing, we are not just talking about four walls and a roof. The right to adequate housing is about security of tenure, affordability, access to services and cultural adequacy. It is about protection from forced eviction and displacement, fighting homelessness, poverty and exclusion. India defines ‘homeless’ as those who do not live in Census houses, but rather stay on pavements, roadsides, railway platforms, staircases, temples, streets, in pipes, or other open spaces. There are 1.77 million homeless people in India, or 0.15% of the country’s total population, according to the 2011 census consisting of single men, women, mothers, the elderly, and the disabled. However, it is argued that the numbers are far greater than accounted by the point in time method. For example, while the Census of 2011 counted 46.724 homeless individuals in Delhi, the Indo-Global Social Service Society counted them to be 88,410, and another organization called the Delhi Development Authority counted them to be 150,000. Furthermore, there is a high proportion of mentally ill and street children in the homeless population. There are 18 million street children in India, the largest number of any country in the world, with 11 million being urban. Finally, more than three million men and women are homeless in India’s capital city of New Delhi; the same population in Canada would make up approximately 30 electoral districts. A family of four members has an average of five homeless generations in India.”