Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY) is a Central Sector Scheme. Under this Scheme, aids and assistive living devices are provided to senior citizens belonging to BPL category who suffer from age-related disabilities such as low vision, hearing impairment, loss of teeth and locomotor disabilities. The aids and assistive devices viz. walking-sticks, elbow-crutches, walkers, tripods/quad-pods, hearing aids, wheelchairs, artificial dentures and spectacles are provided to eligible beneficiaries.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India is the nodal Ministry to oversee the implementation of the Scheme.
Senior citizen & India: As per the Census figures of 2011, the population of senior citizens in India is 10.38 crore. More than 70% of the population of senior citizens live in rural areas of the country. A sizeable percentage (5.2%) of the senior citizens suffers from some sort of disabilities related to old age. Projections indicate that the number of elderly population will increase to around 173 million by 2026.
The devices are distributed in the camp mode to the identified beneficiaries. The National launch of Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana was held at Nellore (A.P.) on 1st April 2017. A total of 187 districts from all States/UTs have been selected for Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana distribution camps. As on date, 16 distribution camps have been organized at the district level.
Details of the scheme:-
- The Scheme aims at providing Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from any of the age-related disability/infirmity viz. Low vision, Hearing impairment, Loss of teeth and Locomotor disability, with such assisted-living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions, overcoming the disability/infirmity manifested.
- The assistive devices shall be of high quality and conform to the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards, wherever applicable. This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government. The expenditure for implementation of the scheme will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund”.
- Under the Scheme, the following Aids and Assisted-Living Devices will be provided to eligible elderly beneficiary senior citizens, depending upon their physical impairment:-
- Walking sticks
- Elbow crutches
- Walkers / Crutches
- Tripods / Quadpods
- Hearing Aids
- Artificial Dentures
Salient features of the Scheme are as under:-
- Free of cost distribution of the devices, commensurate with the extent of disability/infirmity that is manifested among the eligible senior citizens. In case of multiple disabilities/infirmities manifested in the same person, the assistive devices will be given in respect of each disability/impairment.
- The devices will help the Senior Citizens to overcome their age-related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on caregivers or other members of the family
- The Scheme will be implemented through the sole implementing agency, ‘Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)’, (a PSU under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment). ALIMCO will undertake one-year free maintenance of the aids & assisted living devices.
- Beneficiaries in each district will be identified by the State Governments/UT Administrations through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector.
- As far as possible, 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women. The State Government/UT Administration/District Level Committee can also utilize the data of BPL beneficiaries receiving Old Age Pension under the NSAP or any other Scheme of the State/UT for identification of senior citizens belonging to BPL category.
- The devices will be distributed in Camp mode. The expected financial outlay over the next three years (i.e. up to 2019-20) is Rs. 483.6 Crores. The ambitious Scheme, first of its kind in the country is expected to benefit 5,20,000 Senior Citizens over a period of the 3 years.