HC Concern for senior citizens

 

The Orissa High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the State Government over non-implementation of the provisions under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

Acting on a writ petition filed by a senior citizen Tarini Charan Padhy of Nabarangpur, the division bench of Chief Justice AK Goel and Justice AK Ratha has directed the State to file response within four weeks.

The petitioner drew the attention of the Court to the problems and sufferings of the elderly population in the State due to non-implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act in the State.

The Act while mandating establishment of old age homes, providing special beds and wards for senior citizens in healthcare centres along with facilities for their treatment has stipulated constitution of Tribunals to deal with the problems and complaints of the elderly. They should be treated with respect.

It is a matter of grave concern that even after a lapse of five years, the State Government has not even moved to frame the rules for the act nor taken any steps to implement the provisions. Despite repeated appeals to the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, and other Government authorities no action has been taken, Padhy alleged. The petitioner submitted that the population of senior citizens in India is steadily on the rise and projected to grow faster in the coming years.Senior citizens constitute 8.5 per cent of the population at present in State, however, it is more than the national average.

This evolving demographic situation calls for fresh thinking at the policy level to not only take care of the ageing population but also devising ways in which the potential of the senior citizens can be fully utilised.

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