October 1st, 2020
By Rehan Piracha
Senior citizens in Pakistan await the implementation of laws for their welfare as the world marks the International Day of Older Persons on October 1st.
Pakistan has over 13.3 million people over the age of 60, expected to rise to 40 million by 2050. Only 2% of the elderly receive a pension upon retirement at 60 and no healthcare plan.
Pakistan is ranked at 92 out of 96 countries included in the Gender Age Watch Index 2015 while India is at 71, Bangladesh at 67, and Sri Lanka at 46 on the index.
Except for Punjab, all provinces and the federation have passed legislation to protect the elderly. Maintenance and Welfare of Old Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2020 was passed by the Senate in June 2020. Senior citizens under the laws can have free access to public places, priority counters at hospitals, and concessions in fares, medication. More importantly, the law also penalizes children and relatives for abandoning elderly families.