Today is International day of Older persons, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and I personally acknowledge contributions and efforts of our senior citizens on the occasion of this day. We are celebrating your contributions and pay gratitude to you.
Population Ageing is a global trend, 2 people celebrate their 60th birthday around the globe in every second. This is the triumph that people live longer, and is an exciting situation with numerous opportunities.
Pakistan is a country where great improvement has been shown in average life expectancy from 1960-2018. According to the World Bank data, in 1960, average life expectancy in Pakistan was 45.3 years, now it touches 68.1 years.
Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and is among one of those 15 countries where people over the age of 60 are more than 10 million. It is estimated that 70/0 of the total population of Pakistan is over 60 with a figure of 15 million and this number will be increased to 45 million in 2050′. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the third most populous province in Pakistan and according to an estimate 3.5 million older people living in the province.
The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa realizes the issue of Population Ageing. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has passed Senior Citizens Act on 23rd October, 2014 for the welfare and well being of older people. The act ensures privileges for older people such as separate counter and wards in hospitals, concessions in medicines, free entry in public libraries, museums, Park & recreational activities and financial assistance for deserving older people. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government earnestly considers the issue of senior citizens on priority basis, for this purpose, the registration process of older people is in progress; almost 700,000 senior citizens have been registered with Social Welfare Department for senior Citizen Card.
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has planned to establish a senior citizens Support center in Peshawar. The establishment of Senior Citizens Facilitation center will be vital initiative. The Center while performing multiple roles for betterment of Senior citizens of the province this center will focus on the rights of older people. The older people visiting this center will be able to directly communicate their issues with Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
To look after senior citizens is the top priority of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government further strengthening the rules under Senior Citizens Act, 2017 to effectively implement the privileges mentioned in the act.