India ranks second in the number of people above 60 years and third in the 80 year and above or 'oldest old' demographic in the world. This is because life expectancy in India has increased by 18 years in the past five decades. The population over 60 years of age has more than tripled. As per the 2011 Census, the number of elderly people (60+ years) was 103.83 million and is projected to increase to 178.59 million in 2031, with over 47% of the elderly in rural areas and 20.5% in urban centres continuing to work.
The National Sample Survey reveals that non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, hypertension, etc., are extremely common in older people irrespective of socioeconomic status. Other challenges are the toll on public healthcare systems, as also the low penetration of health insurance, and inadequate number of old-age homes.
NSE Foundation's initiatives recognise these challenges and take into account the elderly populations' aspirations and needs as a critical part of the family and community. The Foundation alms to give them a better quality of life, as well as empower them by addressing their financial, healthcare, and social needs Through 1,800 Elder Self-Help Groups (ESHGs), or community resource collectives.
Cataract surgeries and polycentric knee braces have helped more than 31,000 citizens, while ESHGs have linked over 7,400 people with Government schemes in FY 2021-22. Over 190 community resource persons have supported those programmes. Apart from senior citizens, the programmes have influenced nearly 2,33,923 caregivers, family members, Gram Panchayat officials and Government authorities.