Sunday, August 22, 2010

Grievances of Senior Citizens of Maharashtra.

To                                                                                                      Date: 22-8-10.

Shri Raosaheb Patil,

Hon. Home Minister of Maharashtra, Mantralaya, Mumbai-400032.

Dear Raosaheb,

Sub: Grievances of Senior Citizens.

We were happy to note from Newspapers that you are very keen to reach people and interact with them. You have joined Twitter & Face Book also for direct contact & inter action with citizens,. We are proud of your genuine interest in knowing problems of citizens. We, the Senior Citizens would like to have your help in respect of the following issues:-

1. As per Memorandum issued by Home Department under no. kra.STC-1998/667/pra.ka.36/pari.1 dt 25-10-2000, 50% concession in fares for traveling in MSRTC buses is given to all Senior Citizens of 65 years and above. It is experienced by Senior Citizens of Maharashtra as well as other States coming to Maharashtra that Conductors insist on production of Identity Card issued by State of Maharashtra and do not accept other Identity Cards issued by other States or Central Government Departments, PAN cards, Passports etc. Any photo-identity card issued by any Public Authority including local authorities should be sufficient to get this concession. We shall be grateful, if proper instructions with liberal provisions are got issued very early.

2. We would also request you to consider earmarking of more seats for Senior Citizens, as recently done by BEST and to give free or 90% concession to female Senior Citizens, especially widows and above 80 years. Present age limit of 65 for this concession may also be reduced to 60, as all Senior Citizens deserve similar treatment in view of less income after retirement.

3. As per State GR no. 2006/navi-20 dt 12-12-06, free treatment is to be given to all Senior Citizens in all Municipal Hospitals. All Hospitals, except 3 major Hospitals of Nair, KEM & Sion have given in writing that they are giving free treatment to all Senior Citizens. These 3 major Hospitals are defying the State Orders for last 4 years and do not give free treatment to any Senior Citizens nor giving any reply to representations. You may kindly use your good offices and help your Elders.

4. As per Notification in Extraordinary State Gazette dt 25-2-08, all Rickshaws & taxies were allowed to ply in entire MMRDA area but these orders are not yet implemented even after 2 years, resulting in Senior Citizens and all citizens have to walk with luggage/heavy school bags at all check nakas for change over from one side Rickshaws to other side Rickshaws. In Mira Road- Bhayander Area, Rickshaws are not running on meters and they charge exorbitant rates for even short distance e.g. from checknaka to Shrusti area- distance of less than 1.6 km, Rs 40 is charged. Kindly, use your good offices and get these genuine grievances solved.

5. In the recently notified Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act in extraordinary Gazette dt 23-6-10, important provisions of the Central Act,2007 in respect of Medical Support for Senior Citizens (Section 20) and Transfer of property to be void in certain circumstances (Section 23) are omitted. These are very important provisions for Senior Citizens and may kindly be got added.

6. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Delhi has recently liberalized the Scheme of Integrated Programmes and laid down liberal grants for 16 Schemes for benefits of Senior Citizens. All local bodies are required to be instructed to provide these facilities in each Ward for benefit of Senior Citizens of their areas. As NGOs do not have any accommodation, they can not get such grants easily and as such Municipalities may be advised to provide these Schemes on programmed basis.

7. Out of almost 9 lakh Senior Citizens in Maharashtra, there are 3.33 lakhs BPL Senior Citizens but beneficiaries for Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension and Rashtriya Bima Yojna are very much less due to proper action not being taken by Revenue Department to classify them as BPL. Kindly get some instructions issued to Tehsildars and concerned officers to get this done early and properly.

Thanking You,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Recognition of All India Organizations of Senior Citizens.

To Date. 2-8-10.

Shri Mukul Wasnikji,

Hon. Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment,

Government of India, Shastri Bhavan,

New Delhi-110 001.

Respected Sir,

Sub: Recognition of Associations of Senior Citizens of All-India nature.

In absence of National Association of Older Persons (NAOP) as per para 96 of NPOP, 99, there is absolute necessity for recognizing some All-India Associations Of Senior Citizens for various purposes like making Senior Citizens at grass routes know the policy of the Government for Senior Citizens; making Senior Citizens to know about various circulars/instructions/facilities/grants/celebrations/ Vayoshreshta Sanman Awards rules, forms, last date etc. At present, not a single Association of Senior Citizens gets any information from your Ministry or any other Ministry dealing with matters pertaining to Senior Citizens.

Ministry of Personnel, P.G. & Pensions, which is a Nodal Ministry for all Pensioners of all departments & States also, has recognized as many as 78 Associations of Pensioners and these are supplied with all circulars and are allowed to represent the grievances of pensioners. Many of them have been provided with Pension Portals-Hard wear, Soft wear & Training at the cost of Ministry. The Nodal Ministry has established SCOVA, which meets regularly. Their Web Site provides direct contact with them by Pensioners & Associations for their grievances.

Our Nodal Ministry has not recognized a single Association or sending a single circular to any of the Associations. Our Web Site is also not kept up to date and most of the time difficult to get connected for a particular subject. Though portion of Senior Citizens is shown in margin as a separate entity, it does not give the required information. More over many Senior Citizens do not have access to computers. All major Associations of Senior Citizens are publishing monthly magazines/news letters and having Web Sites and as such recognizing them and sending circulars etc to them will result in the information reaching to many Senior Citizens. It may also be examined whether Nodal Ministry can have separate Web Site for Senior Citizens and till, it is done, whether these Associations can be provided direct access to Web Site of Nodal Ministry-Senior Citizens Portal by providing them Hard Wear, Soft Wear, Training etc, as done by Pension Ministry. It is absolutely necessary that all such major Associations are immediately recognized by Nodal Ministry and instructions issued to all concerned Ministries including Pension Ministry (as these Associations deal with Pensioners also) to send copies of all matters pertaining to Senior Citizens. As most of the States/UTs have not constituted State Councils, instructions may be issued for recognizing State-level Associations and send them all circulars with facility of representation. Hardly any State/UT bothers about Senior Citizens and do not celebrate International Day Of Older Persons on 1st October or International Day of Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15th June nor give any awards in appreciation of good services to Society & Elders to deserving sr citizens.

This action need not wait for formation of New Policy and may be taken very early. An appropriate reply in terms of para 66 of Office Procedure Manual reproduced below may kindly be given at an early date. Previous letter dt 18-12-09 on NPOP is also not yet replied.

Extracts of para 66 of the Manual of Office Procedure.

66. Prompt response to letters received-

(1) Each communication received from the Member of Parliament, a member of public, a recognized Association or a Public Body will be acknowledged within 15 days, followed by a reply within 15 days of acknowledge sent.

(2) Where (i) delay is anticipated in sending final reply or (ii) information has to be obtained from another Ministry or another office, an interim reply will be sent within a month (from date of receipt) indicating the possible date by which a final reply can be given.

(3) If any such communication is wrongly addressed to a department, it will be transferred promptly (within a week) to appropriate department under intimation to the party concerned.

(4) Where the request of a member of Public can not be acceded to for any reason, reasons for not acceding to such a request should be given.

(5) As far as possible, requests from members of Public, should be looked at from the user’s point of view and not solely from the point of view of what may be administratively convenient.

Thanking You,