Nagaland does not have any policy on ‘Old Age’

Dimapur, December 3 (MExN): “Nagaland does not have any policy on ‘Old Age’ including specialization in some hospitals for treatment of such category of the society. Perhaps your Association (Dimapur District Ao Pensioners’ Union (DDAPU)) could start the thinking process for the government,” Alemtemshi, (IAS) Additional Chief Secretary & Development Commissioner revealed in his sharing note during the occasion of DDAPU’s 13th Annual general meeting which was held today at its Treasurer’s residence. Er. Kibang Jamir, president, DDAPU read out the speech of Alemtemshi who could not attend the meeting due to ‘circumstances.’ 

Making known that in Nagaland the number of elder generation are not small, the message read that “even those retired from government service today account for 34, 935 on whom the Government spends annually Rs. 255. 85 crores. Taking the annual retirement figure from Government service at about 2000 persons every years, and taking the Government servant population at one lakh or 1/20th of the population of Nagaland, it would mean that given our population of 20 lakhs people about 40, 000 persons are crossing the retirement age every year. This is therefore a serious matter.” Alemtemshi called upon the pensioners to start some kind of thinking for elders of the society in Nagaland and ‘to do some socio-economic planning for such category of people and in this search for policy perhaps the pensioners will be the best group of people to initiate the process.’ 

While expressing pain on hearing of disrespect and ill-treatment given to pensioners by the serving government servants in Nagaland, he said, “This I think is wrong and must change. We could perhaps think in terms of a Pensioner’s Cell in every district to deal with the problem faced by pensioners of Nagaland.” Recently, in appreciation of the Communitisation Policy of the State government, it was awarded the ‘United Nations Public Service Award’ on “Fostering Participation in Policy-Making Decisions through Innovative Mechanism Category.” “The roots of such policies were actually led by your generation. We owe your generation, much indeed,” Alemtemshi said. 

Making mention on four aspects of retired lives including pensioner, retirees, Senior Citizens and old age, Alemtemshi understood that ‘while the four have common aspects, that vary in definition and its understanding could perhaps help Pensioners of Nagaland to reconstruct the thinking process to change our attitude to various aspects of retirement.’ He also believed that an Association like DDAPU could perhaps think about ‘how there can be pensioners for other Naga people who are not government servants’ and ‘perhaps help and educate other people in the state.’ “Perhaps you as concerned and active citizens could start a process in Nagaland for such benefits to be given to senior citizens. It could perhaps start with awareness and sensitization programme in which the government could give some assistance during the year of capacity building,” Alemtemshi stated. 

The Additional Chief Secretary, lastly challenged the pensioners to make use of the ‘two priceless commodities that pensioners have- Freedom and time’ saying, “The time after retirement is, therefore a part of the gift of life.”

DDAPU was formed in January 28, 2006 with the motto ‘Trust and Fraternity’ when, ‘the Dimapur District Ao senso Pensioners felt the need for a union to come more closer, together as one and to serve among us, to ensure justice, equality and fraternity.’