Senior citizens organised a rally coinciding with the International Workers Day or May Day, demanding respect for work, on Sunday.
The participants of the rally, including some 95-year-olds, were demonstrating in order to draw society’s attention to the fact that their labour has been going unrecognised and was not evaluated despite their huge contribution to the country’s development.
Through the rally, the elderly citizens wanted to give a message to the younger generation that it is with their hard work and contribution that they have become what they are today, and the need to respect and care for the elderly.
The senior citizens have also called on the government to make arrangements for providing them employment opportunities as long as their health permitted and to respect their labour.
The participants of the rally were holding placards with photos of fellow senior citizens weaving rugs and carrying heavy loads.
As per the National Census of 2011, the elderly population is 8.41 per cent of the total population of the country -which is 26,494,504. It is stated that 28 per cent of the 8,857 people killed in the devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015 was elderly citizens. Similarly, many of the 22,304 injured due to the earthquake were senior citizens.
The rally that started from the Shanti Batika at Ratnapark marched up to Bhadrakali where it turned into a mass meeting.
Addressing the mass meeting, president of the Aging Nepal, an NGO working for the senior citizens, Krishna Murari Gautam ‘Chatyang Master’ called on the government to consider increasing the age limit in civil service given the increase in the average life longevity of the Nepalis. Similarly, he called for maintaining the working age between 15 to 59 in the labour market.
President of the Help Age International Nepal, Khemraj Upadhyaya, said we should give due respect to the senior citizens and to their work.