SC speaks up for the elderly

The Supreme Court’s directive to the central government to ensure that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, is effectively implemented by the states is a response to the growing social problem of neglect of elderly people. The court has also recommended an increase in the monthly pension of elderly citizens. There are over 12 crore elderly people aged above 60 years in the country. The numbers are rapidly increasing. The court has rightly felt that there is a need to pay greater attention to their welfare in a rapidly changing society. It has told the Centre to procure information from all states about the medical facilities and geriatric care available to senior citizens in all districts. It also wants the government to prepare a plan of action and to give publicity to the legal rights of elderly people. The court has sought a status report from the Centre by January 30. 

Crimes against senior citizens and cases of neglect and ill-treatment are increasing. There are social and economic reasons for this and they will get stronger in the coming years. Because of better healthcare, people live longer, but most people have to depend on their families. When families increasingly become nuclear, parents tend to be neglected. Social and family values have changed. Many children live away from their parents and find it difficult to attend to the parents’ needs. Social welfare schemes aimed at the elderly do not reach all the needy and are inadequate. There are not enough number of old-age homes. The conditions in those that exist are bad. Geriatrics is an important medical discipline in many countries, but it has not received attention in India. A proposal that medical colleges should start courses in geriatrics has not been implemented. Most hospitals do not have geriatric wards and personnel trained to take care of the needs of the elderly. 

The court has made it clear that the government has the responsibility to ensure that the basic rights of elderly people are protected and they live with dignity. This is not just a matter of implementing the law. Many senior citizens are not aware of their legal rights. Many of those who are aware of their rights do not want to use the legal provisions against their children even when they are subjected to cruelty and exploitation. The situation and the vulnerabilities of the elderly population may get worse in the coming years. While governments, the society and individuals have to take their responsibilities more seriously, those in the younger age groups should prepare themselves better for their old age. 

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

SC speaks up for the elderly

0 comments

Write the first review for this !