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112: Poverty, Old Age and the State: An Analytical Discourse of the Indian Elderlies (2012)

Category: Visitors Papers

Saumitra Basu, Post Doctoral Fellow, The Asiatic Society, Kolkata

Poverty in a developing country like India does not surprise its academicians and professionals .The aged population of the country will soon be over eighty million people. Sizeable section of this population is below the poverty line. Thus there is a tendency of equating poverty with old age. In the structural pattern of the society senior citizens are identified as a separate homogenous group practically isolated from the mainstream of daily life. This is also reflected in the labour market in the mean tested pension of the country and the ensuing service sector which delivers age benefits and social security. Within this parameter the elderly women are discriminated against more than their male counterparts. The political economy of ageing in this backdrop requires special analysis and the sectors known as formal and informal are to be compared and analyzed in this backdrop. This paper discusses the differentials of income, asset, liabilities and behaviours that generate out of apathy towards the informal sector. It also focuses on certain policy matters within the broad spectrum of political economy of the country.