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NEW DELHI: The government plans to organise around three lakh senior citizens from deprived backgrounds in activities that will help them while they help others.
These elders are set to be organised into “action groups aimed at social reconstruction” (AGRASR). They will function as elderly self-help groups across the country under the National Action Plan for Senior Citizens (NAPSrC), expected to be rolled out in April.
The government proposes to set up 15,000 AGRASR groups covering 3 lakh senior citizens across rural and urban areas in 2020-21. Members will be in the age group of 60-69 years from deprived households. Supported by the government, they will take up activities such as helping academically backward children in government schools by tutoring them after school hours, running creches or day care centres for children, helping patients in nearby hospitals and adopting any social asset for upkeep with the approval of the local body.
The AGRASR groups will work for at least four days a week. Each group will receive an honorarium of Rs 50,000 in two instalments every year. Apart from this, the institution where they are working can also give them an honorarium based on their ability. The social justice ministry also plans to operationalise a national helpline to connect senior citizens to regulatory authorities and care givers by August under this plan.
The national action plan begins with the premise that not all senior citizens are infirm and a majority of elderly people can contribute substantially to social causes and be great motivators.

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