PM pledges to take care of ageing on 'Elderly Day'
The government pledged to take care of elderly citizens on the occasion of National Elderly Day yesterday and assured Thai citizens nationwide of the country's plan to provide care for the elderly.
Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said the government has factored in the country's ageing population into the national agenda and will continue to implement its senior citizen plans in order to prepare Thai society for an ageing society.
"Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wants to raise people's awareness of our ageing society as the country is becoming one," she said.
April 13 is the first day of Songkran in Thailand and also marks National Elderly Day when the water pouring ceremony or rod nam dam hua is held for younger people to seek blessings from their elders.
People pour blessed water into a vessel as a way to make merit at the Kwan Riam market along Saen Saep canal in Min Buri district. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
As of this year, the number of Thai people aged 60 years and older will reach 20% of the total population. From 2023 onwards, there will be one million people aged 60 years and older and Thailand will be a super-aged society by 2033, according to statistics cited by the deputy spokesperson.
Earlier this year, the cabinet approved a new pension programme under which both employers and employees will contribute, with minimum inputs ranging from 3%-10% of salaries depending on employment tenure. The plan is the latest initiative by the government to prepare for an ageing society.
For people aged between 25-59 years, the government stresses the importance of saving and strives to educate the group about how to take care of the elderly.
For people older than 59 years, the government is focused on helping individuals develop new skills and encouraging employers to hire older employees.
Girls bathe Buddha statues with lustral water in a traditional practice associated with the Songkran festival at Seacon Square shopping centre. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Normally a Songkran magnet attraction, Khao San Road lies almost deserted as water throwing has been cancelled again this year. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
The plaza outside CentralWorld, usually one of Bangkok’s most popular celebration venues for Songkran, is quiet this year due to Covid. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
This bus went up in flames as it was heading to Bangkok, killing five passengers in Ban Haet district of Khon Kaen yesterday. (Photo by Chakkrapan Natanri)