First Published : 13 Oct 2009 03:32:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 13 Oct 2009 06:38:13 AM IST
CHENNAI: It has been more than two years since the Central government
passed the Maintenance and Welfare of Senior Citizens Act but the
State government is yet to notify it in its gazette.
Despite having the country's oldest CM and being home to over 77 lakh
senior citizens, who form 12 per cent of the State's population, the
State sleeps over the matter.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Senior Citizens Act, which empowers
senior citizens or parents to seek maintenance from legal heirs to
their property, calls for the establishment of a tribunal in every
district in every State to take up the problems and complaints of
Senior citizens can, by this Act, seek maintenance for the purpose of
his or her food, shelter, clothes, medical facilities and recreation,
while the tribunal can punish those who forsake or ill-treat them.
Two years after its introduction, only six States in the country,
including Gujarat, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tripura and West
Bengal, have notified the Act, along with the Union Territory of
Elders Federation, a Tamil Nadu-based NGO, will be meeting CM M
Karunanidhi soon, seeking quicker implementation of the Act.
"The Act calls for a district-level committee to be established for
the welfare of the senior citizens and yet, the State has not even
discussed the issue in the Assembly," says Sheelu, president, Women's
Collective. While speaking to Express, commissioner, Directorate of
Social Welfare, MP Nirmala, IAS said the Act is in the process of
"We have been assured that there will be quicker action towards
implementation of the Act in the State. Senior citizens, however,
often do not prefer filing complaints against their kin," said Meryln
Freeda, deputy director, advocacy, HelpAge India.
Other demands by the Elders Federation include the need for a
multi-purpose ID card, increase of government pension to Rs 1,000 per
month, separate queues in public places for senior citizens,
concessions in bus fares and inclusion of lessons on 'Respect for
Elders' in school syllabus.
Dr P Vyasamoorthy,
30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278