|With rapid rise in life expectancy since Independence, there has been very substantial increase in the proportion of persons above the age of sixty years in the total population of India. According to 2001 Census, senior citizens constituted about 8% of the total population of 1028 millions. It has been estimated that by year 2050, this age group will form about 23% of the total population of the country (Draft National Policy on Senior Citizens 2011).
Due to prevalence of joint family system and tradition of respect for elders through the ages, older members of the family were earlier well looked after. But due to break-down of traditional family structure and various social and economic factors, a large number of elders have now been left without any family support. The situation is worse in the case of poor elderly persons. Facilities needed to take care of such helpless people like Old Age Homes etc. are totally inadequate.
In Ludhiana City, which is hub of industry and an otherwise prosperous city, there are many elderly persons who require medical aid, shelter and support. The position in villages is no better. In view of the above, a need was being felt for an organization of senior citizens, which while looking after the interests of its members, not only undertakes welfare projects for less fortunate senior citizens and other underprivileged sections of community in Ludhiana district as a whole, but also actively coordinates and cooperates with like-minded sister organizations in Ludhiana and other towns and cities of Punjab to work for the welfare of senior citizens at the state level. Responding to this need, some public- spirited friends met on 25th February, 2010 and decided to form an organization of senior citizens with these objectives. Framing of a Constitution incorporating these objectives and structure of a vibrant democratic organization was taken up.
On 8th March, 2010, a bigger meeting was held and an organization of senior citizens ‘Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association Ludhiana’ (SCWAL) was formed. In an atmosphere imbued with spirit of mission, 38 founder members were enrolled there and then. Constitution of the Association was adopted with acclaim and the Executive Committee was formed. It was got registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 on 22nd March, 2010 and was formally launched on 28th April, 2010. On the same day, it joined Federation of Senior Citizens’ Associations Punjab (FEDSEN- Punjab) as an Institutional Member.
During the last three years, this organization has come a long way. It has undertaken many welfare projects details of which are given on page regarding ‘ACTIVITIES’ and has come to occupy a position of primacy among organizations in Ludhiana district working for welfare of the elderly persons. As on 31st March, 2013, its membership stood at 284 with members coming from wide spectrum of society including retired civil and military officers, engineers, doctors, agricultural scientists, educationists, industrialists and businessmen.
The Association stands registered with Income Tax Department as a Charitable Society and donations to it are eligible for deduction from the income of the donor u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961.