In Bhutan, the wisdom and experience of our senior citizens are cherished aspects of our society. It enriches our cultural tapestry and serves as guiding lights for future generations. Therefore, they are not only respected but also fully integrated into our societal framework.

The introduction of the National Policy for Senior Citizens reflects a profound commitment to this cause, to foster a harmonious and inclusive society where every individual, regardless of age, has a meaningful role to play.

Spanning an extensive 16 pages, this comprehensive document outlines a strategic roadmap for addressing the multifaceted needs of our senior citizens. At its core lies the principle of active participation, recognising the invaluable insights and perspectives that our elders bring to the table. By involving them in policy formation and decision-making processes, we not only honour their wisdom but also tap into a vast reservoir of knowledge that can inform our nation’s development trajectory.

One of the key pillars of the policy is the provision of secure housing, ensuring that our senior citizens have a dignified and comfortable place to call home. Too often, our elderly face housing insecurity, leaving them vulnerable and marginalised. The policy seeks to rectify this by guaranteeing access to safe and affordable housing, thereby safeguarding their well-being and sense of belonging within their communities.

In addition to housing, the policy also prioritises social security measures to support our senior citizens in their golden years. From healthcare to financial assistance, it recognises the diverse needs of our elderly population and pledges to provide comprehensive support systems to ensure their overall welfare. By addressing these fundamental needs, we not only uphold our societal values of compassion and solidarity but also reaffirm our commitment to leaving no one behind.

Crucially, the policy is also focused on safeguarding the rights of our senior citizens, recognising that they are entitled to the same dignity and respect as any other member of society. This entails not only protecting them from abuse and exploitation but also empowering them to exercise their rights and freedoms to the fullest extent possible. In doing so, we uphold the principles of justice and equality that lie at the heart of our nation’s ethos.

As our elderly population continues to grow, driven by demographic shifts and increased life expectancy, the need for proactive measures to support their well-being becomes ever more pressing. The policy represents a proactive response to these challenges, demonstrating our commitment to building a society where every individual, regardless of age, can thrive and contribute meaningfully to the nation’s progress.

In embracing our senior citizens, we not only honour their contributions to our past but also invest in our future, ensuring that Bhutan remains a place where people of all ages can live with dignity, purpose, and fulfillment.