An Open Letter to National Human Right Commission (NHRC) India was submitted by Silver Inning Foundation to Dr. S.P.Kinjawadekar , Core Committee member NHRC.
The MWPSC Act has been enacted by Parliament with an objective to provide effective provisions for the maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens as guaranteed and recognized under the Constitution. The State governments are authorized to implement and execute the Act, which may be reviewed and monitored by the Central Government.
By passing this Bill, adequate measure has been taken to protect life and dignity of this vulnerable group of Senior Citizens (60+). The Central and State Government have also taken some welfare measures for Senior Citizens by adopting various schemes like old age pension, travel concession, tax rebates etc, but they are minimal and nominal attempts and benefited a few elite and people in urban region. But the poor, illiterate and rural elderly are ignorantly suffering in their old age.
After deliberation with Senior Citizens we at Silver Inning Foundation hereby suggest following amendments in The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2007 (MWPSC) for the benefit of 100 million Senior Citizens of India:
- Fully adoption and implementation of ACT by all state government
- Wide range and constant Publicity for MWPSC should be made mandatory for regulator / implementing agency / state to outreach maximum number of Elders
- Government should provide minimum maintenance to Elders who are Childless or have No Relatives
- Provision for protection of parents who are 50+ and are abused / abandon
- Government should provide Minimum maintenance or Look after Elders with No property or who are Destitute
- It should be made clear, who will do management of Old Age Home ; a guideline should be made for the same
- Free Medical support for BPL and destitute senior citizens should be given
- This Act provides relief in case of Financial Maintenance and Property Abuse but nowhere there is mention of Psychical and Psycho Social Abuse / Care. A provision / intervention for Psychical and Psycho Social Abuse should be made
- A specific provision for providing security of residence, like in case of Domestic Violence Act, should be incorporated in the Act.
- Immediate relief / maintenance (after verification of facts) should be provided to Elders when a case is filed or referred, as the process to get justice might take 90 days or more
- Police should be given more power to make su motto arrest or intervention if required
- Minimum Maintenance should also be fixed and maximum maintenance should be Rs. 10,000/- or more per month as per living elders and paying capacity of children’s/ relatives
- The punishment should be nonbailable imprisonment of minimum 1 month and may extend to 3 months or fine which may extend to Rs.10,000/- or with both
- All state governments should adopt a comprehensive action plan for providing protection of life and property of aged and to prevent any form of abuse, particularly of the lonely aged
- There is also a great moral responsibility on the society. Above all, the children must be sensitized towards their parents and elders. An Intergeneration study / course activity in schools and colleges should be made mandatory
We hope following amendments will be beneficial to our Elders who look for peace and happiness in their silver years.
14th Nov 2011