To Date. 2-8-10.
Shri Mukul Wasnikji,
Hon. Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment,
Government of India, Shastri Bhavan,
New Delhi-110 001.
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.