More senior citizens looking for jobs

Karnataka has witnessed a steep hike in the number of senior citizens looking for jobs over the years. Nightingale Empowerment Foundation, an organisation that helps senior citizens of Bangalore to get jobs, has recently seen a very high rate of enrollment. Unfortunately since October 2011, out of 1100 registrations, the organization has been able to get employment for only 260 of them.

Swathi Bhandary, Project Manager at Nightingale said: "Employers should realise that most of the eligible citizens are very much capable of getting recruited."

Accountancy, call-centre and other clerical jobs are areas wherein senior citizens are recruited.

The Directorate of Welfare of Disabled and Senior Citizens claims that there has been a rise in the number of enrollment for ID cards which help senior citizens enroll themselves for jobs.S Amarnath, Information Co-ordinator said: "Frankly there are very few recruitment schemes available for the senior citizens. Private organizations work in coordination with the government to provide jobs for all the potential job seekers."

The Karnataka government gives Rs 500 per month as pension to citizens above 60 years of age under the Sandhya Surakhsa Scheme. If the total savings of a senior citizen is less than Rs 10,000, then he/she is entitled to enroll himself for this scheme. Other privileges include ID cards, concessional bus pass and day care centres for senior citizens.

12,16,620 senior citizens, both rural and urban; enrolled themselves for this scheme last year. The Karnataka government predicts that the longevity of human life will have 14% of its population falling under the "senior citizens" category by 2051.

Registrations in old age homes across the state have also increased according to Matilda Joseph who is a warden at Cheshire Homes India. Matilda said, "Around four to five senior citizens enroll themselves with our organisation every week. Our organisation plans to construct another branch as there isn’t enough space to accommodate the growing number of enrollments."

Matilda feels that the growing financial crisis and family disputes have led to this drastic increase of urge in the geriatric population to seek a job for themselves.

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