Saturday, January 02, 2010

Maharashtra government & others have neglected & ignored the cause of Senior Citizens


Traditional norms and values of the Indian society laid stress on providing care for the elderly. However, due to withering of the joint family system, a large number of elderly are not being looked after by their family. Consequently, many older persons, particularly widowed women are now forced to spend their twilight years all alone and are exposed to emotional neglect and to lack of physical and financial support. This clearly reveals that ageing has become a major social challenge and there is a need to give more attention to the care and protection for the older persons. Though the parents can claim maintenance under the Section 125 of the Cr Pc and Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (HAMA) BUT the procedure is both time-consuming as well as expensive. Hence, there is need to have simple, inexpensive and speedy provisions to claim maintenance for parents.

The Indian Parliament felt that the elderly and senior citizens of the country required care and attention and also protection of their life and liberty. It further felt that the young generation was failing in its duty to take adequate care of its elderly citizens, including parents, relatives or other members of the society, who have turned old and infirm and whose population in 2009 is estimated 90 millions.

The major benefits in the act includes: Monthly maintenance upto Rs.10,000/-, punishment of Rs.5000/- or jail for three months or both for not paying the monthly allowance by children's or relative, 90 days time bound disposal, no need of advocate, a 3rd party intervention possible , to first resolve the differences and disputes between parents and children amicably, medical facility , protection of life and property , old age homes in every districts etc...

To eliminate the agony and sufferings of this vulnerable section of society, the Parliament enacted a law Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 in Dec 2007, whereby state governments were required to constitute maintenance tribunal within six weeks of enforcement of the Act.

The Act, which aims to protect the rights of senior citizens and has provisions like 3-month jail to children who abandon their parents, has been implemented by only 11 states so far, but some have still not form the Tribunals to address and implement the Act. The states that have come on board to implement the Act are Nagaland, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam, Kerala, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Orissa.

Maharashtra government and other states have neglected and ignored the cause of Senior Citizens.

Silver Inning Foundation, an NGO working with Senior Citizens demands from Maharashtra government and all state government to immediately adopt, implement the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and constitute 'maintenance tribunals' to hear and decide the grievance of our Elders, the Senior Citizens.

If any state government refuges or delays this process then Honorable Supreme Court and High Court should take action against such government for protection of constitutional and human rights of Senor Citizens.Justice delayed is Justice denied.

Lets give Justice to our Elders, lets give Love, Care & Respect to our parents. Say NO TO ELDER ABUSE.

Article by:

Sailesh Mishra
Founder President - Silver Inning Foundation
Founder – ARDSI Greater Mumbai Chapter

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