The 2011 Human Development Report of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), India reveals that national average life expectancy in India is 68.9 years. The growing number of senior citizens in the country warrants appropriate steps to enable them to live a productive and dignified life. The situation demands even greater attention and care for the homeless elderly. With this outlook, Essar Foundation under the auspices of the CBM project of Essar Oil Limited has extended financial support to the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) to build a home for homeless senior citizens in the Burdwan district of West Bengal.
The foundation stone for the home was laid on February 22, 2014. The event was graced by Mr Swapan Debnath, Minister for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and Textiles (MSSE&T), government of West Bengal, Dr Saumitra Mohan, District Magistrate (DM), Burdwan district and Chairperson, IRCS, Burdwan branch and Dr Susanta Kumar Das, Secretary, IRCS, Burdwan branch. In his address, Dr Mohan stated that lack of homes for the elderly in the eastern part of Burdwan district necessitated this project. Mr Debnath appreciated the gesture, assured support to the initiative and welcomed Essar’s support to the home.
Once ready, the home for the elderly will accommodate 50 elderly residents. IRCS is a voluntary humanitarian organization having a network of over 700 branches across India, providing relief in times of disasters, emergencies and promoting health and care for vulnerable people and communities.