Caring for and promoting the role of elderly
Wednesday, 2016-11-09 12:34:25
NDO – The fifth congress of the Vietnam Association of the Elderly (VAE) for the 2016-2021 tenure opens in Hanoi today at a time when the whole country is positively realising the 12th Party Congress Resolution in a bid to successfully fulfil the socio-economic development tasks set for 2017.
The elderly always receive respect and great care in Vietnamese society. It is a fine tradition of Vietnamese people which has been preserved and promoted through thousands years of the national history. In 1941, President Ho Chi Minh wrote ‘The Appeal for Solidarity to the Elderly’, which clearly defined the responsibilities of elders to the country, announcing that the country’s prosperity was thanks to the elders’ contributions, and the country’s existence was thanks to the elders’ support.
In today’s national industrialisation and modernisation process, the senior citizens have positively participated in social activities and made contributions to the VAE’s operation, walking side by side with the Party, State and the entire society to serve the ‘Doi Moi’ (Renewal) process and the sustainable development of the motherland.
The VAE has always received practical attention from the Party and State. Since its establishment 21 years ago, 30 documents relating to the VAE operation have been promulgated by the Party Central Committee, National Assembly, Government and relevant ministries and sectors. Policies and legal documents on asserting the role of the elderly and improving their life have been completed and brought into life.
In 2015, the Government designated October as the Action Month for Vietnamese Elders in order to raise a high sense of gratitude, gratefulness and respect among people towards their parents and grandparents. It is also meant to encourage further involvement from organisations, individuals and people from all walks of life in taking care of and upholding the role of the elderly. Under the direction of the VAE and political-social organisations, a wide range of practical activities were held in response to the second edition of the action month last October.
With around 8.6 million members, the VAE has performed a significant role in the country’s major political events. The association has attracted more and more members from central to grassroots levels. Thanks to the sound direction of the VAE Central Committee and the support from local Party committees and authorities, the VAE-launched activities have helped realise the Party’s guidelines and State’s policies and laws on the elderly. More than 70,000 clubs for the elderly have been set-up nationwide so far, attracting around three million members. More than 1 million elders received longevity celebration and greetings every year and 900,000 elders were presented with gifts on the occasion of Tet (lunar New Year festival) and other national holidays.
Devoting their springtime and youth to the fatherland, the life of Vietnam’s elederly is closely attached to the country’s glorious history. Living through national revolutionary struggles, they were equipped with a solid political basis, thus playing an important role in educating, instructing and encouraging their descendants in making contributions to their family and society. Many senior citizens have established themselves as shining examples in various fields of life, including household economics development, poverty reduction, and humanitarian and charity activities. They have also played a key role in uniting people from all walks of life while being active and resolute in fighting against hostile forces which have sought ways to split the national unity.
However, there are a number of elders living in difficult circumstances, particularly those in remote areas and of ethnic minority groups. There are also elders living in isolation and poverty; some are even ill-treated. Meanwhile, the VAE has shown some shortcomings and limitations in its operation, some sub-associations at local levels have not yet been able to organise practical activities to remove difficulties for their members.
The Party and State always pay great care to the elderly and create the most favourable conditions for them to gain access to information and enjoy a joyful, healthy and happy life. The Party and State also attach attention to promoting the brainpower and experiences of senior citizens. Functional agencies need to fully implement the Party and State’s guidelines and policies on the elderly so that they are provided with favourable conditions to enjoy life and make further contributions to the country. The VAE needs to renovate its operation and enhance human resources while encouraging the elders to take part in its activities, thus promoting the association’s focal role in improving care for and holding up the role of the elderly in today’s life.