Monday, September 28, 2009

Senior Citizens can feel a little happy

Somebody, somewhere suddenly remembers the senior citizens. Thanks for small mercies! A news item titled "Grandmother of discounts, from eateries
- Hotel federation plans concessions for customers who bring along senior citizens" on 26 Sept, 2009 reports as follows:

"The Federation of Hotels and Restaurants of India, the apex body of the hospitality industry, is planning discounts for customers who are accompanied by senior citizens.
“The idea is to encourage families to bring along the elderly who are normally left at home while the others dine out,’’ said federation secretary-general Deepak Sharma. “We want to give it a try in the metros first, then we will extend it to the smaller cities.”…

If the elderly come alone, they are still entitled to the discount, but if they come in a group, the discount will apply to the overall bill. No documents showing age are likely to be needed.

To make the plan a success, the industry is also thinking of altering menus, offering more vegetarian and diabetic-friendly diets."

In India, the senior citizens are avoided by the mediclaim and health insurance people. The income tax guys force them to wait for (marginal) benefits till they are 65; even then they are forced to submit tax returns if only to recover the TDS (it does not matter if their taxable income is below the cut off level for submitting returns). The Calcutta Metro forgot about the senior citizens or the disabled while building their underground network and the stations. Only the Indian Railways recognise them and offer discounts - which the senior citizens gratefully appreciate.

Hardly any hotel or restaurant in India offer low calorie, sugar free, fat free diet. Not only the senior citizens, but even the health conscious people have great difficulty in selecting a balanced diet when they eat out. Hence, the decision to offer "more vegetarian and diabetic-friendly diets" is indeed most welcome.

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