It is fashionable in politics to talk about the youth, women, and children. In case of an accident it is reported that “49 persons died, there were 6 women and 2 children among them…”.The other 41 dead died as one should, and matter not. Unfortunately, the media has shown little ethics or responsibility. I am trying to bring your attention to determine the status of the senior citizens in the new “welfare state” being promised to the nation. The United Nations Fund is recently said to have highlighted aging as the most significant population-related issue for the current century. In developed countries, particularly the “welfare States”, the needs of senior citizens at various levels have been recognised. This effort is by and large missing from Pakistan. The percentage of seniors in our country is nearly nine per cent, which means there are about 18,000,000 seniors that must be recognised as humans needing attention. My special concern is individuals who have worked hard in their lives and managed to live with a measure of dignity but find difficulty after reaching superannuation. My other grave concern is those who are part of this century’s improvements and maintain good health, have experience and are willing to contribute to the nation but face age prejudice. Several countries have removed the age bar for retirement. Seniors that can and want to work, should not be discarded because of age. National Savings schemes are beneficial for individuals as well as the government. The most helpful scheme for seniors is the Behbood Savings. A deposit in this scheme for entitled seniors helps them survive without being dependent on anyone. In the beginning of this century the rate of profit and the limit of investment per person seemed reasonable. However, the so-called democratic governments reduced the rate of profit drastically without giving an alternative to the seniors who chose to invest. The new government must rationalise this. Two things must be done immediately. The ceiling of the individuals’ investment should be raised. This action will help the government improve its liquidity and will also help seniors earn a profit without risk. The rate of interest which had been reduced should be brought back to the level of at least 2003/4 to enable the seniors to meet the current inflation. The experienced and distinguished seniors, who have contributed in the past and hold good reputation, should be involved in nation building programs. The attitude of discarding old s like wasting and ignoring our heritage. The experienced and distinguished seniors, who have contributed in the past and have good reputations, should be involved in nation building programs. Discarding senior citizens amounts to wasting and ignoring our heritage One expects from the new government to exhibit better sensibilities than its predecessors. If Mahathir at age 93 can run for office — and win, why can’t we use our seniors? In 2007 a draft of “Senior Citizens Bill” was introduced but our democratic representatives thereafter paid no attention to it. However, the proposed Senior Citizens Bill may take months to pass. Therefore, some immediate steps will be necessary. A Senior Citizens Council should be formed. It can help in formulating policy proposals, conduct research, and develop comprehensive proposals. Behbood Savings should be restored, and the limit of investment enhanced. A health card be introduced for all. Option be given to apply for a gold card or platinum card at a small premium which should enable the senior to get health care of their choice. Seniors have a key role as caregivers to the young. To help young parents groom and teach the growing younger population. Make the young aware of good traditions, values, literature, history and much more. These are things that can be learnt at home in a loving surrounding. This imparting of knowledge and experience is voluntarily done by most seniors or grandparents but if formally supported by the society and the government it will reach higher importance. The examples are created at the top. If the top leadership is corrupt then corruption becomes the order of the day. If the top leadership is sensitive and responsible than the nation follows. The choice is with Imran Khan and his colleagues. The writer is Pakistani theatre, film and television actor, scholar, public speaker, columnist, teacher and dramatist Published in Daily Times, August 9th 2018.