The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation along with United Nations Population Fund (UNFA) organised a special function at Fiji’s first Senior Citizen park in Suva today to mark International Senior Citizens Day.
The two government and non-governmental organisations brought senior citizens from as far as Namosi and Naitasiri to be part of this celebration.
Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Govind Sami while addressing the citizens said when people grow old, they need to be recognized, loved and cared for, as these are the basic ingredients for healthy ageing.
He also added that the Roadmap for Democracy, Sustainable Socio-Economic Development (RDSSED) 2010-2015 conveys that today’s Government has committed itself to ensuring that everyone has the basic right to a dignified life , enjoys the quality of citizenship, and that no one lacks the basic necessities of life irrespective of age, gender, ethnic origins and socio economic conditions.
The theme for this year’s Senior Citizens day is ‘Promoting an Inclusive, Protective, Healthy and Supportive for older persons in Fiji’.
Speaking on behalf of the senior citizens, Fiji Pensioners Association’s President Hari Raj Naicker said the senior citizens of Fiji have sacrificed our sweat and blood into bringing where Fiji is today and we should still be included in the decision making process.
He also added that the idea behind the Senior Citizens park at Thurston Garden is a good idea but raised his concerns about no security being at the park which is dangerous for any old person.
By Indrani Krishna