Mauritius: As a caring Government, the social protection, empowerment and welfare of the elderly and persons with disabilities will remain high on Government’s agenda, affirmed the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.
He was speaking, today, at the inauguration of the Sir Anerood Jugnauth Recreational Centre in Riambel in presence of the Minister of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo.The Centre to the tune of Rs 275 million is built on a land of around 5 arpents. It comprises 60 rooms, a dining room, an activity hall, a medical room, a jogging track, a gym, a home cinema, a swimming pool, kiosks and outdoor activities. It has the capacity to welcome around 12 000 persons per year. The unveiling of the inaugural plate was performed by the Prime Minister.
In his keynote address, the Prime Minister highlighted that the fourth recreational centre at Riambel bears testimony to Government’s relentless effort to work in the best interests of the elderly and persons with disabilities. The centre will provide them with a comfortable, safe, recreational and hospitable retreat while promoting activities and projects for their welfare, he stated.
Prime Minister Jugnauth recalled that the first recreational centre was inaugurated by late Sir Anerood Jugnauth in July 2001 in Pointe aux Sables. He emphasised on the achievements of the latter in shaping the modern landscape of Mauritius adding that the centre has been named after Sir Anerood Jugnauth to pay him homage.
The Prime Minister further observed that Mauritius is witnessing an ageing population which is expected to grow in future. Government, he pointed out, is working unremittingly to meet to the demands of this growing population.
As for the other three recreational centres, he indicated that renovation works will be carried out to ensure that the elderly population can benefit from the centres at the earliest.
Mr Jugnauth, moreover, dwelt on the National Sports and Physical Activity Strategy Plan for a healthier nation and made an appeal to old persons to adopt a sports culture to maintain a healthy life. As a person ages, he is faced with several health issues, hence the need for the elderly to practice sports, he underscored.
The Prime Minister also elaborated on governmental measures in aid to the elderly and needy ones including new and better health services; security and protection of the elderly; and major infrastructural development.
Highlighting the impacts of the COVID-19 and the Ukraine and Russian war, he indicated that Government has put in place several measures to support the Mauritian economy and the purchasing power of the population. One key measure is subsidy on basic essential commodities such as milk, gas, oil, pulses, wheat, and rice, he stated.
He urged the elderly population to be informed and avail of the various facilities being put forth by Government for their welfare and betterment and reiterated Government’s commitment to continue to work for the welfare of the elderly while enhancing their quality of life.
For her part, Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo, stated that the centre bears the name of late Sir Anerood Jugnauth with a view to pay homage to the latter for his lifelong service and contribution to the development of the country as well as his resolute determination to empower and enhance the quality of life of the elderly.
Government, through similar projects, will continue to support the elderly to live a decent and healthy life and get access to recreational activities to improve their overall well-being. The budget for the elderly has also been revised to 51 million in last budgetary measures to meet to the needs of old persons in particular those with disabilities, she pointed out. The Minister also dwelt on several Governmental measures for the protection, better health care and enhanced quality of life of the aging population.
Also present, the Chairperson of the Senior Citizens Council, Mr Hanslall Seebaruth, stated that the centre will be remembered in the history of Mauritius for being a state-of-the-art infrastructure of great magnitude. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Government for the magnificent project and lauded its continued effort to cater for the welfare of the elderly in the best possible manner.
The Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo, the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Georges Pierre Lesjongard, the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Sooroojdev Phokeer, Parliamentary Private Secretary, Mrs Sandra Mayotte, Mr Prakash Ramchurrun, and Mrs Teenah Jutton, Chief Whip, Mrs Navina Ramyad, Deputy, Mr Mohamad Salim Abbas Mamode, Lady Sarojini Jugnauth and other personalities were also present at the ceremony.