Andhra Pradesh identifies people for Elderly Self Group Scheme on pilot basis

The group members will be given financial support, special care and health facilities

Visakhapatnam: The state government is identifying eligible people above age 60 for inclusion in a pilot project called - Elderly Self Help Group (ESHG), so as to safeguard their welfare during old age.

According to the latest statistics, the government identified 630 villages in 15 select mandals of all 26 new districts and is in the process of forming 1260 ESHG groups. Nearly 82 per cent of these groups have been formed.

The group members will be given financial support, special care and health facilities. This scheme will mainly aim at senior citizens whose families do not take care of them.

Simhachalam, one of the members of Venkateswara ESHG at Bondapalli in Vizianagaram district, said, “We are able to get bank loans. Generally, old-age people do not get any financial support for small-scale business ventures from the banks or other lenders. Hence, this government initiative.”

Lakshmi, a member of an ESHG at Pulicherla in Chittoor district, said, “The scheme forms us into friends. We sit and discuss ideas. It's relaxing for all of us, and there is no physical exertion. Some members benefited from this scheme as their children had left them to their fate.”

The ESHG comes under the centrally sponsored Action Groups Aimed at Social Reconstruction (AGRASR) scheme of the Union Ministry in both urban and rural areas, especially from the economically weaker sections.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Vizianagaram district rural development authority project director Kumar said the vulnerabilities of the people, particularly the elderly, were exposed during the Covid19.

This scheme not only addresses the financial requirements of the ESHGs, but also gives a healthy atmosphere as they engage in chats and make friends. This helps them develop a feeling that they are not alone, he added.

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