To provide ‘one-stop access’ to elderly care products and services, the union government has designed the ‘Senior care Ageing Growth Engine’ (SAGE) project.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) said that the SAGE is aimed at promoting private enterprises to bring out innovation in products to benefit the elderly. The project is based on the recommendations of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) report on start-ups for the elderly.
The objectives of SAGE are to focus on addressing the needs of India’s fast rising elderly population, to select, support and create a ‘one-stop access’ to elderly care products and services, to encourage the selected start-ups based on innovative products and services, address the services from health, housing, care centres, technology access linked to needs ranging from finances, food and wealth management to legal guidance.
“In order to provide a transparent mechanism for selecting the start-ups, a dedicated portal has been designed. All proposals will be uploaded and selection will be based on blind review by an independent screening committee of experts. The first set of selected start-ups will be hosted on the portal in about two months time,” the ministry said.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has created the Senior Citizen Welfare Fund (SCWF) in 2016 to fund activities that would bring significant change in the lives of the elderly in India. The Fund is expected to use Rs 9,000 cr of unclaimed deposits in the EPF and other public funds. The Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana is funded through this,” the ministry said.
The inter-ministerial committee for the SCWF has considered funding of about Rs 100 crore as equity support to the selected start-ups with a maximum of Rs one core per start-up. “For the current year, Rs 20 crore has been made available. In the next five years, about 100 such innovative start-ups will be funded under the project,” the ministry said.
The MoSJE will act as the facilitator in the entire process enabling the elderly to access the products through these identified start-ups.