A group of 500 people, including the elderly, participated in a walkathon in the capital to spread awareness about healthy and active ageing on the occasion of the World Health Day Saturday.
Health and Family Welfare Secretary P.K. Pradhan and WHO representative to India Nata Menabde flagged off the walkathon at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The theme of World Health Day this year is 'healthy and active ageing'.
Recognising that ageing of the population had major implications for the health system and society as a whole, the WHO also supported a national level consultation at AIIMS to prepare strategies for ensuring active and healthy ageing.
"With rising life expectancy more and more people will live longer in most of the countries and it is imperative to ensure their continued and active engagement in all spheres of life," said Menabde.
"This cannot be achieved without investing in healthy ageing throughout life course and ensuring adequate response to their health care needs. Finding the right models of long-term care for the rapidly ageing populations also becomes more urgent," she said.
India's population is ageing and will continue to age steadily in the next few decades. It is estimated that the population aged 60 years and above will grow from 77 million (7.4 percent of the total population) in 2001 to 300 million (17 percent) by 2050.