Wednesday, November 4, 2009

HelpAge asks for changes in Senior Law

HelpAge asks for changes in SEnior Law.

JAIPUR: Removal of the mandatory 50% reservation for SCs and STs in
day-care centres, inclusion of NGOs and senior citizens in the state
and the setting up of tribunals to hear out their grievances are some
of the recommendations that Helpage India would shortly be making to
the state government.

The recommendations are to be incorporated in the Maitenance and
Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007. The Act was framed in
the state about two years ago to cater to senior citizens.

Harvinder S Bakshi, the national director of Helpage India said, "The
state already has a policy for the welfare of senior citizens. But
there are some areas that need to be fine tuned and these
recommendations are aimed at that."

Bakshi was in the city to take part in a seminar to review the
implementation of the policy on aged persons. Helpage India has been
organising similar seminars across the country to ensure effective
implementation of the policy.

"It is good that a reservation of 50% has been made for SCs and STs in
day care centres for old people. But it has been observed that more
often than not these places remain vacant as there are not so many
SC/ST applicants. Therefore, the mandatory quota must be removed so
that others can use these slots," said Bakshi.

"Similarly, in the state council of senior citizens, a body that has
representation from all departments of the government and is aimed at
helping out solve problems of senior citizens quickly, there must be
atleast 50 to 60% participation by NGOs and members of the civil
societies else the council would loose its relevance and function like
any other government body. Besides, the state is in the process of
finalising the composition of tribunals where any senior citizen who
is harassed by his inheritors can simply file an application for
redressal," he said.

The seminar in the morning saw principal secretary department of
Social Justice and Welfare Malvika Pawar apprised the gathering of the
rights of senior citizens. "However, the government alone cannot do
everything. It is necessary for all stake-holders to take part
actively," she said.

Pawar also revealed there are about 60 lakh senior citizens in
Rajasthan and that nine new oldage homes are in the offing taking the
total of such facilities to 18. She also spoke of the tax benefits
awarded for setting up such homes.

In the afternoon a technical session on the implementation of act was
held. Various suggestions that emerged from the session would be send
as recommendations to the government.
Oct 2009

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