FIJI NEWS

Ratu Epeli tells senior citizens: I’m with you

By: ARISHMA DEVI The President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday officiated at the International Day of Older Persons at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel in Suva. The programme, an initiative of the
02 Oct 2012 09:07

Senior Citizens attending the Senior Citizens’ Day celebrations at the Senior Citizens’ Park in Thurston Gardens in Suva yesterday. Photo: NAVNEET NARAYAN)

By: ARISHMA DEVI

The President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday officiated at the International Day of Older Persons at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel in Suva.
The programme, an initiative of the Fiji Council of Social Services, was appreciated by Ratu Epeli who said he had also graduated into the very special group often referred to as ‘older persons’, the elderly or the echelon.
“Many of us here will acknowledge that FCOSS is an organisation that champions many important issues dealing with the welfare of our citizens and one of the key issues it is now championing is the Age Demand Action (ADA) under the Help Age International banner.”
He said that Help Age International helped older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active, and healthy lives.
“The Age Demand Action campaign is a global grassroots campaign which fights age discrimination, led by older people.
“According to the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, the percentage of people over the age of 60 is approximately 7.5 per cent and if we add to that percentage those over 55, then the total percentage will be as much as 11.2 per cent .” Ratu Epeli said.
FCOSS is a leading member of the national committee that helped to put together the National Policy on Ageing 2011-2015.
Ratu Epeli said that it was a proud fact that Fiji was the first country in the region to have an Aging Policy which potrayed consideration for the elderly.
He said older persons provided a tangible source of experience and wisdom that can be utilised.
Meanwhile at Thurston Gardens, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation joined forces with other stakeholders yesterday to mark the launch of the 2012 Senior Citizens Day at the Senior Citizens Park in Suva.
The theme for the day was ‘Promoting an inclusive, protective and health supportive environment for older persons in Fiji’.
Guest speaker, the Minister for Local Government Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Colonel Samuela Saumatua said the day was to build an inclusive environment of happiness and positive change for older persons.
Colonel Saumatua highlighted Governments initiatives for older persons such as Provident Fund pension for retirees, family assistance and the major achievement of the 2010, which was the opening of the Senior Citizens Park.
“The park was a milestone achievement for us; another step in building an inclusive and supportive society for the senior citizens of the country.”
Senior citizens and were present to celebrate the event.
More pictures, story on page 14




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