Tribunal to fight for senior citizens' rights


The provisions of the Act will be formally implemented in the State from October 1, observed as World Elders’ Day.

At a State-level seminar on “National Policy on Older Persons” organised here by HelpAge India, G Jayaram, Director, Department of Welfare of Disabled and Senior Citizens said, the tribunal will have assistant directors and district directors in the panel to solve the issues, especially senior citizens with sons.

Jayaram added that the tribunal will look into both the income of both the respondents and the petitioners to decide on the monthly maintenance. A maximum of Rs 10,000 will be awarded or an annual maintenance amount also can be deposited in the bank.

Intervention

All aspects with regard to the income of both the respondents and petitioners will be verified, if need arises deduction of regular pension will also be done. Even the medical condition of the petitioners will be considered. A third party, may be a NGO, can also mediate between the two parties for conciliation.

The government has also proposed to open an old-age home in each taluk. At present, each district has one old-age home with 25 persons residing in it.

Dr Harvinder Bakshi, National Director - Advocacy HelpAge India said that the policies framed to help senior citizens have not been implemented properly by both the Central and the State governments. "The aged have the potential to do all kinds of work.  All senior citizens’ welfare associations must come together to fight for their rights," he urged.

Old-age pension

The Central government's 'Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme' and State government's 'Sandhya Suraksha scheme' which includes widow pension and disability pension have so far dispensed around Rs 600 crores and currently has more than 30 lakh pensioners attached to it in the State.

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