The elderly population, with their enriching life experience, represent an essential guide for the younger generation of the country. The Mauritian society as a whole must benefit from their advice and principles so as to foster a harmonious society imbued with values.
This statement was made yesterday by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at the Quartier Militaire Social Welfare Centre. He was speaking during an event organised for senior citizens to mark the United Nations International Day of Older Persons 2017.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that the senior citizens have contributed to the development of the country and thus they should be given due recognition for the hardships and difficulties they have undergone throughout their lives. It is our utmost responsibility to provide the elderly with care and security, he added.
As regards the improvement of the quality of life of the elderly, the Prime Minister recalled the increase in the old age pension. He also enumerated some key measures announced in Budget 2017-2018: setting up of two homes, equipped with all necessary amenities to accommodate low-income elderly residents living alone; setting up of a fourth recreational centre at Riambel to the tune of approximately Rs 200 million to enable elders spend leisure time; and, expansion of hospital infrastructure and health care facilities with construction of a New Cancer Hospital.
The Prime Minister underlined that the increase in the number of elderly people in Mauritius demonstrates that the senior citizens of the country are leading a healthy lifestyle and are having access to proper health services. He called upon the elders to continue to tread on this path and also use their talents as suggested by the theme of the International Day of Older Persons 2017: Stepping into the Future: Tapping the talents, contributions and participations of older persons in society.
Speaking on the drug scourge, Prime Minister Jugnauth reiterated his determination to address this social plague which is negatively impacting the country. Government, he highlighted, will have no mercy against drug dealers and he added that all means will be deployed to get rid of this social evil. He appealed for the collaboration of each and everyone in this relentless fight so as to make the Mauritian society free from drugs.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister also proceeded with the distribution of wheelchairs to old age groups with physically disabled persons.