Pioneer of senior citizens’ federation V.S. Bhat passes away


New Delhi : V.S. Bhat, founder secretary general of the Federation of Associations of Senior Citizens of India, died at his home here Saturday morning. He was 86.

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Bhat, who was ailing for the past few days, passed away in Sarvodaya Enclave in New Delhi, according to family sources.

He leaves behind his wife and two sons. The elder son, Ravindra Bhat, is a judge of the Delhi High Court.

V.S. Bhat had worked in many important centre statistical organisations. He joined in the late 1940s, when the Indian Statistical Service was started. He was deputy director general when he retired in 1982.

After retirement, Bhat devoted himself to the welfare of senior citizens in India. He spent about six months in the US, where he familiarised himself with the working of American Association of Retired Persons.

After returning to India, he concentrated on creating a federation of associations of senior citizens in the country where various senior citizens’ associations were dealing with local problems of elderly people. Bhat suggested the formation of a federation to project all the common concerns of the senior citizens around India.

The Federation of Associations of Senior Citizens of India was launched in 1999 with many distinguished people on its board of directors.

R. Venkataraman, former president of India, became a patron; P. Murari, former secretary to government of India and adviser to Ficci joined as the first president. Bhat was the founder secretary general and director of the senior citizens conglomerate.

Due to indifferent health he could not be active during the last two years.

The last rites will take place at New Delhi’s Lodhi Road crematorium at 4 p.m. Saturday, the family sources said.

Many senior citizens and their association will remember Bhat’s “yeoman service” fondly, said P.K. Kumaran, a friend and now secretary general of the federation.