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Annual Report 2008-2009

2.28 The National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi Nomadic Tribes submitted its report on 2.7.2008, which is being processed for further action.

2.29 The term of the Commission for Economically Backward Classes which was to expire on 31.7.2008, was extended up to 31.7.2009.

D. Social Defence

Senior Citizens

2.30 The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 was enacted by Parliament in December, 2007, but has to be brought into force by individual State Governments. With constant efforts of the Ministry, the Act has been brought into force by 21 States and 6 UTs. The matter is being pursued with the rest.

Each State Government has to notify rules under Section 32 of the Act. To facilitate this, the Ministry drafted Model Rules under the Act, and circulated to all State Governments which have brought the Act into force on 5.2.09 for being adopted / adapted.

2.31 On the International Day of Older Persons, i.e. on 1st October, 2008, the Ministry organized a "Walkathon" at India Gate to promote inter-generational bonding. The march was flagged off by the Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment. More than 3000 senior citizens and school children participated.

2.32 Vayoshreshtha Samman, given by the Ministry to honour senior citizens who make outstanding contributions in various fields, as also to institutions working for elderly, were given on 12th January, 2009.

2.33 Fifth meeting of the National Council for Older Persons, constituted to advise the Government on policies and programmes for older persons, was held on 30.9.2008 under the Chairpersonship of the Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment. Status of implementation of the above policies and the revised scheme of "Integrated Programme for older Persons" were discussed in the meeting.

Substance (Drug) Abuse

2.34 The Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse, which provides for awareness generation, identification, counseling, treatment and rehabilitation of victims of drug abuse has been revised. The revised scheme under a new name viz. "Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse and for Social Defence Services" has been brought into force from 1.10.2008.

2.35 The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was observed on 26.6.2008. The Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Sports and Youth Affairs, and the Minister of Communication & IT were present on the occasion. A postal "Special Cover" was also released on the occasion.

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