Sunday, September 23, 2012

Implementation of Various Policies of Government of India by Rail Ministry on Welfare of Senior Citizens and Retired Railway Employees.

M.V.Ruparelia, A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (East)
Dist. Thane. 401107.         M. 09821732855.  E/Mail:

To                                                                                                  23-9-12.
Shri Vinay Mittal,
Chairman, Railway Board, Rail Bhawan, New Delhi- 110001.

Dear Sir,
Sub: Implementation of Various Policies of Government of India by Rail Ministry on Welfare of Senior Citizens and Retired Railway Employees.
1.      With the tremendous progress of Medical Science and general prosperity of the Country, longevity of citizens in India has increased considerably and our Country is the Second Biggest Country of the World having huge population of Senior Citizens. Keeping in view the international efforts and directives of United Nations Organization, Government of India notified National Policy on Older Persons with approval of Cabinet on 13-2-99 with clear directives to each Stake Holder to implement various provisions by fixing targets etc. Government also directed to treat the Older Persons as respected Citizens requiring strengthening of their legitimate place in the Society and to take all actions to help them to live their last phase of life with Purpose, Dignity and Peace. Article 41 of Constitution of India directs to make effective provision for securing the right to Public Assistance in cases of old age. The right to equality is a Constitutional fundamental right of Elders also.
2.   We have been requesting Rail Ministry to examine certain specific provisions of the Policy, 99 and issue instructions to all Railways for implementation since 10-1-08 through representations by name to Hon. Railway Minister followed by reminders, RTI Applications, Appeals etc, as indicated in Annexure A. It is observed that instead of examining and taking decision at Board`s level, letters to Minister are forwarded to one (Central Railway) or all Railways and even after that Railway and majority of all Railways having said that these are policy matters and require to be decided by Board, no action is taken to examine and decide the issues by concerned Directorates. When matter is taken up through RTI for giving replies to representations to Hon. Minister, instead of giving parawise reply for various issues,  stock reply is given that information asked in RTI Applications is in form of complaint & request and is not covered under the term ``Information`` under RTI and no action is taken on representations to Minister. Even Ministry of Personnel, Pension and Public Grievances has included the following as item 1 of  AGENDA ITEM FOR MEETING OF STANDING COMMITTEE OF VOLUNTARY AGENCIES (SCOVA) to be held this month:
Time bound grievance redressal & real time dissemination of information are the two main ingredients of this novel venture for the welfare of pensioners.
It has been reported that several Ministries especially Railways are not handling he Grievances with all seriousness which is required in such cases. These are sometime transmitted to wrong destinations and are also unilaterally closed on incorrect grounds without resolving. Similar observations were made by CIC also in some other cases.
3.     We shall be obliged, if proper action is taken and system of such loose working is streamlined and the following three main issues of Senior Citizens are sympathetically examined and proper instructions issued to all concerned for implementation.
i)                   Decisions on various provisions of National Policy, 99 as brought out in our 4 representations dt 27-5-09, 15-1-11, 12-8-11 and 12-8-12 (Details in Annexure A) to Hon Minister followed by very large number of reminders, RTI Applications, Appeals and more than 51 communications in last 4 years for this one subject!
ii)                National Policy for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) is issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in 2010. Our representation dt 19-1-12 to Railway Minister, followed by reminders, RTI Application & Appeals is not examined and decisions are not being taken inspite of several Railways having said that Policy Decisions are to be taken by Board. Training of our Doctors in Geriatric, Geriatric Wards, Training of Care Givers etc are required to be provided to retired employees as per this Policy. In some years, number of retired employees will exceed the serving employees and they are required to be given facilities, as laid down in NPHCE.
iii)              Our representation dt 9-10-11 to Hon. Minister followed by reminders, RTI Application & Appeal to provide separate entrance in one IInd class compartment and some seats in Ist class coaches in Suburban Trains of Mumbai is not being accepted on the plea that it will be resented by general public. General Public is vehemently opposing provision of Ladies Specials, Handicapped Coaches, Facilities and reservations in recruitment, promotion etc given to Minority Community, SC/ST and backward Classes, FDI in Retail etc etc but all Ministries are following the Policy framed by Government. For Senior Citizens also, Government has laid down a Policy to provide Age-friendly, barrier-free access in buses and bus stations, railways and railway stations, airports and bus transportation within the airports, banks, hospitals, parks, places of worship, cinema halls, shopping malls and other public places that senior citizens and the disabled frequent. This Policy is required to be accepted and followed inspite of any resentment.
We shall be thankful, if above issues pertaining to 12 crore Senior Citizens including Retired Railway Employees are sympathetically considered and decisions conveyed to concerned offices for sincere implementation.
A line in reply in terms of Para 66 of Office Manual will be very much appreciated.
Thanking You,

Yours Sincerely,


Annexure A showing details of References made to Ministry of Railways.
1)    Application dt 10-1-08 under RTI requesting for information about action taken by Ministry of Railways on various specific provisions of National Policy, 99 for last 9 years followed by Ist Appeal dt 3-4-08, IInd Appeal dt 5-7-08 to CIC. Orders of CIC under no.4582/IC/A2009 dt 6-10-09 and orders again under no. CIC/OK/C/2008/00634 dt 19-1-10  to give information within 15 days also not carried out inspite of 3 reminders dt 29-9-09, 21-10-09 and 8-5-10.  Total communications 8, 4 years, not a single reply!!
2)    Representation dt 27-5-09 to Minister by name for implementing Policy, 99 with details of various provisions to be implemented by Railways and some other issues pertaining to senior Citizens, followed by RTI Application dt 8-7-09,Appeal dt 17-8-09, IInd Appeal dt 29-9-09. Wrongly sent to Central Railway, which replied that points raised are to be decided by Railway Board. CIC`s Orders no. CIC/AD/C/2009/001260 dt 31-8-10 followed by my 9 letters dt 21-9-10, 16-11-10, 16-12-10, 1-2-11, 24-3-11, 2-11-11, 9-1-12, 12-5-12, 1-9-12.  Total Communications 13-Period 3 years. Requested information not given till date.
3)    Representation dt 15-1-11 to Minister by name to make provisions in Budget and for implementing Policy, 99 with details of various provisions to be implemented by Railways and some other issues pertaining to senior Citizens, followed by RTI Application dt 10-3-11,Appeal dt 16-5-11, IInd Appeal dt 2-7-11 followed by fresh Ist Appeal dt 9-12-11 and fresh IInd Appeal dt 1-2-12. CIC`s Orders no.CIC/AD/C/2011/001317 dt 11-10-11, followed by reminder dt 14-2-12. This also Wrongly sent to Central Railway, which replied that points raised are to be decided by Railway Board. Total Communications 8-Period one and half years. Requested information not given till date.

4)    Representation dt 12-8-11 to Prime Minister with copy to Railway Minister for implementation of Policy,99 and other issues with details of provisions pertaining to Railways. PMO sent this representation for giving reply to us to Nodal Ministry, which requested Rail Ministry to give position pertaining to Railways under Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi`s letter no. 15-39/12/2006-07-AG dt 28-10-11 addressed to Joint Secretary, Public Grievance, Railway Board but requested information not given inspite of following by RTI Application dt 9-1-12, Ist Appeal dt 20-2-12, IInd Appeal dt 18-5-12 followed by letters dt 7-7-12, 24-8-12, 31-8-12 and 10-9-12. Total Communications 9-Period one year. Requested information not given till date.
5)    Representation dt 9-10-11 to Minister by name for providing separate coach in Mumbai Suburban trains. Forwarded to Central & Western Railway stating that earmarking of accommodation is to be done by these Railways and simultaneously giving reply that any extension in the present allotted hours will result in inconvenience to other sections of commuters (2011/TG-I/20/37 dt 11-1-12). RTI Application dt 22-11-11, Ist Appeal dt 20-2-12, followed by letters dt 19-5-12, 5-6-12 and 20-9-12. Notings leading to decision of competent authority is requested. Total Communications 6-Period 11 months. Requested information not given till date.
6)     Representation dt 19-1-12 to Minister by name for Implementation of National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) followed by Application dt 2-4-12, Ist Appeal dt 18-5-12, IInd Appeal dt 18-9-12 and letters dt 2-7-12 & 3-8-12. Forwarded to all Railways and majority of Railways said this requires to be decided by Railway Board and 6 Railways including Central & Western have not yet replied inspite of reminders by Board. Total Communications 6-Period 8 months. Requested information not given till date.
7)     Representation dt 12-8-12 to Minister by name for implementing Policy, 99 with details of various provisions to be implemented by Railways and some other issues pertaining to senior Citizens. No reply even after 1 month.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

`International Day of Older Persons, 2012 in Maharashtra.``

``International Day of Older Persons, 2012.``
``Right Every Wrong``              Satyamev Jayte.
M.V.Ruparelia, A503 Rashmi Utsav,  Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (East),
Dist. Thane.401 107.  M. 09821732855. E/Mail:
To                                                                                                               Date.16-9-12.
Shri Shivaji Rao Moghe,
Minister of Social Justice & Vishesh Sahaya, Government of Maharashtra, Mantralaya, Mumbai-400032.
Respected Sir,
 Sub: Celebration of International Day of Elders, 2012.
1.      We reproduce below the Press Note dt 5-8-12 from Shri Mukul Wasnik, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment for information and immediate action.


Senior citizens: Ministry asks states to sensitise police

PTI | 03:08 PM,Aug 05,2012
New Delhi, Aug 5 (PTI) Promoting safety of senior citizens, the Social Justice Ministry has asked all state governments to conduct programs to sensitise their police and administration on providing security to the elderly. In a letter addressed to all the Chief Ministers, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik has told them about the various programs which can conducted by them for promoting safety and security of senior citizens. The Ministry has also informed the states that 'Security of Senior Citizens' has been identified as the theme for this year's International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on October 1. "I shall be grateful if you could please issue instructions for its observance in a befitting manner at state, district and block level also. This could be done by holding suitable programs and activities pertaining to the identified theme in addition to other activities that are organised each year," Wasnik wrote in the letter. In his letter, the Minister recommended programs for "sensitisation of police as well as Civil Administration about the security of  life and property of senior citizens" and conducting "awareness campaigns to spread education about the concerns and issues of elderly people". Wasnik has also asked the states to create awareness for ensuring financial security and stability of senior citizens and ensuring availability of facilities of reverse mortgage of property to ensure regular income for them. The Minister suggested that the states organise these programs with involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions, municipal bodies, Nehru Yuva Kendras, educational institutions and NGOs for maximum benefits to the senior citizens. (More)``
2.      Though more than one month has pssed to above Press Note, no action appears to have been taken, as no local authority here is aware of any instructions from your side. It is observed that inspite of repeated instructions every year for celebrating this Auspicious Day from Social Justice Ministry, Delhi,  Maharashtra Government does not appear to be celebrating this World Day for Senior Citizens in last 13 years nor have ever issued any instructions to subordinate offices at District & Municipal levels!  We, therefore, request you to see the above Press Note and take immediate action to arrange befitting Celebration at Mumbai for your 12 lakh Senior Citizens and get detailed instructions issued to all concerned at District & Municipal/Panchayati level for proper celebrations throughout Maharashtra, as now only 15 days are left to this Celebrations. Instructions & Sensitivity Programmes for Police Authorities may also be got issued, keeping in view provisions of Rule20 of Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Rules, 2010 issued on 23-6-10 before 2 years.
3.      Ministry of Social Justice, Delhi is also giving 10 types of Vayoshrestha Sanman on this Auspicious Occasion and requesting all States to send their recommendations. Maharashtra State does not appear to have sent any recommendations in any year. We request to consider the following names for giving such awards at State level and also to recommend these names to Nodal Ministry.
a)      Institution Award for generating and spreading Knowledge in the field of Ageing: Silver Innings Foundation, Mobile: 09819819145.
b)      Institution Award for providing outstanding services to elderly.  Dignity Foundation, Mobile: 09867727845.
f) Lifetime achievement Award for Senior Citizen, who has worked in the field of ageing and made significant contribution in the field. Dr. Kinjwadekarji, Mobile: 09820639773.
4. Nodal Ministry is also issuing advertisements on this occasion and requests Media to highlight the issues of Elders. We request the State also to do needful for this.
5. We shall be thankful, if very urgent action is taken on this very important issue, given lot of importance by UNO & Central Government and befitting celebrations are arranged at all levels in Maharashtra for creating safety & respect for your 1.2  crore Elders of most progressive State of Maharashtra.

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Let Us Resolve.

Let Us Resolve.                                     M.V.Ruparelia.

It is not correct to say that the Government has not done much for Senior Citizens. It has done a lot; what is lacking is implementation.

For information of our Senior Citizens, it may be stated that the Government has laid down the following Policies, Acts, and Schemes for Senior Citizens:-
·         National Policy on Older Persons, 1999
·         Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007
·         An Integrated Programme for Older Persons (Plan Scheme)
·         Reverse Mortgage Scheme
·         Reverse Mortgage Loan enabled Annuity (RMLeA), 2009.
·         Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna.
·         Facilities to Pensioners by Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances.
·         National Programme for Health  Care Of Elderly: Ministry of Health & F.W.
·         Corporate Social Responsibility.  Funds under this Scheme can be requested by our Associations for Welfare of Senior Citizens.
In spite of such marvelous and beneficial Policies, Acts and Schemes announced by the Government, if the position of Senior Citizens has not improved much, it is mainly for two reasons:
·            The Nodal Ministry has not been able to get many provisions of these policies implemented by other Ministries,  States/UTs/Stake Holders and
·            It has miserably failed in creating awareness about these policies amongst the beneficiary Senior Citizens and various Stake Holders.

In spite of clear directives in the Policy for implementation, keeping the issues of Senior Citizens in constant Public focus and continuous dialogue & communication with Associations of Senior Citizens, the Nodal Ministry has been viewing the Policy as Guidelines and not as requiring total implementation. It did not make each Stake Holder responsible for implementation by preparing Five Year and Annual Action Plans, as laid down in the Policy; instead, it has been spoon-feeding other Ministries by calling Inter Ministerial Meetings for discussions on some topics and not on specific paras of the Policy. Such meetings are also not held or attended regularly and seriously, resulting in non-implementation even after 13 years.

Looking to the deplorable position of pending issues of Elders, it is absolutely necessary to:
·         Provide an independent Director, Joint Secretary and Secretary not only at Centre but also at State/UT Level.
·         Set up National/State Commissions for Senior Citizens for ensuring that there are no violations of Rights of Senior Citizens.
·         Set up a separate Negotiating Machinery like JCM/SCOVA by recognizing existing registered Federations of Senior Citizens.
·         Put up Web Site for Senior Citizens with Grievance Solving Machinery.
·         Extend monthly financial help for office and other expenses, as given by Pension Ministry to Pensioners Associations.
·         Constantly advertise in Newspapers & TV etc, as done by Ministry of Personnel for RTI Act to keep various features of NPOP & MWPSC Act, 2007, Integrated Programme etc in public focus and for awareness of Senior Citizens, as laid down in Policy, 99.

In the Ministry`s Citizen Charter, provision should be made to reply all representations from individuals & registered Associations of Senior Citizens within the prescribed time.

We, senior citizens, are equally to be blamed for not having done our bit to get the implementation. On our part, we are also responsible for non-implementation of all these Policies, as we do not write, represent, and agitate for their implementation. We have also failed to implement our part of action laid down in Policy, 99. Our Associations are expected to organize various services like Day Care Centres, friendly home visits to older ailing persons, escort them to hospitals, shopping complexes & other places, satisfy their needs for social interaction, recreation & other activities; organize sensitivity programmes on ageing issues, help them to overcome loneliness, use our professional knowledge, expertise and contacts for needy senior citizens, create awareness about various measures and policies of the government etc. Barring a very few, like Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association, this is not being done.
The General Assembly of the United Nations has designated October 1st as International Day of Older Persons. This Day was observed for the first time throughout the world on October 1st, 1991. The theme this year is: "Longevity: Shaping the Future". By keeping busy, we can increase our longevity. Let us resolve on this auspicious occasion to do our duty and work for early implementation of policies by constant representations, negotiations and agitation from all parts of the Country to persuade Municipal authorities, State/UT & concerned Central Ministries, which will shape our future.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Information given by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Information given by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare under their letter no. T.21020/38/2012-NCD(M) dt 1-8-12 received on 6-9-12 in reply to our Representation dt 15-6-12 to Hon. Health Minister on occasion of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 2012.
The major components of National Policy of Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) during 11th Five Year Plan were establishment of 30 bedded Department of Geriatric in 8 identified Regional Medical Institutions (Regional Geriatric Centres) in different regions of the Country and to provide dedicated health care facilities in District Hospitals, Community Health Centres  (CHCs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and sub centres level 100 identified districts of 21 States. The Programme has been initiated in all the 8 Regional Medical Institutes and 91 districts so far. It is proposed to cover the remaining districts under the Programme during 12th Five Year Plan in a phased manner @ 100 districts per year and develop 12 additional Regional Geriatric Centres in selected Medical Colleges of the Country in the first 3 years. The Regional Institutes will provide technical support to the geriatric units at district hospitals, whereas district hospitals will supervise & coordinate the activities down below at CHC, PHC and sub-centres.
Special provision has been made in NPHCE for the training of doctors, paramedical staff at sub-centres, Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs), District Hospitals and Regional Geriatric Centres. The main aim of the Government of India, at present, is to provide dedicated health care to the elderly at all primary health care facilities.
The comments regarding the necessity of `` A Charter for Senior Citizens`` for all their health care needs has been noted.

M.V.Ruparelia, A503 RashmiUtsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (East), Dist. Thane.401 107.  M. 09821732855. E/Mail:
To                                                                                               Date:  7-9-12. 
 Shri S.K.Gupta, Under Secretary (NPHCE),
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India,
Nirman Bhavan,  New Delhi-110 011.
Sub: Various Issues related to Senior Citizens of the Country.
Ref: Your letter no. T.21020/38/2012-NCD(M) dt 1-8-12 received on 6-9-12 by ordinary post in reply to our Representation dt 15-6-12 to Hon. Health Minister on occasion of WEAADay, 2012.
1.      We are very much thankful for your above, giving useful information about progress of NPHCE etc in consultation with Directorate General of Health Services. We shall disseminate it to senior Citizens at grass root levels through our Magazines/Newsletters.
2.      We appreciate your stand that State/UT authorities have to ensure proper separate queues etc. We request you to give a second thought to our request in para 3 of our representation  dt 15-6-12 to Minister of Health and issue proper detailed instructions covering various points brought out therein and reiterate such instructions periodically, as one of the important components of Health Policy is information, communication and education of all concerned. Directive from Health Ministry for this will make lot of difference.
3.We would also request you to examine our request in para 2 of our representation dt 15-6-12 and issue proper detailed instructions to Ministries of Railways, Defence etc having separate full-fledged Medical Departments, so that they also start working on this Scheme for their retired employees. 
4. You have advised in para 4 of your above that special provision is made in NPHCE for training of Doctors  & Paramedical staff. We appreciate this provision but request you to issue special instructions on lines requested in para 4 our representation to Hon Minister, as we find the attitude of several doctors and staff very humiliating. There is also necessity of Mass Media Programme to increase awareness of public as well as doctors, staff, care givers etc on various aspects of health problems of Elders, as laid down in paras 73 and 88 to 90 of NPOP, 99. Elders deserve respect, care and sympathy and this can be created by our Health Ministry also. Though private hospitals & doctors etc are not under administrative control of Health Ministry, we would be grateful, if some advice can be given to private hospitals, private practitioners and consultants also about necessity of looking after Elders by giving preference in examination, concessions in charges etc on similar lines through some communication, press note, media etc, as specifically laid down in paras 34 & 38 of NPOP, 99. Cost of medicines is controlled by other Ministry but an appeal by our Health Ministry to the Medicine producing agencies and Associations of Chemists can make them induce giving some concessions to ageing population, who need medicines like food and can ill afford. We request you to take suitable action on  India's Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily`s Report to you seeking appropriate action on curbing the mal- practices of pharma companies. He has forwarded a copy of the study to you. As we consider you as our Nodal Minister for all our Health Needs, we request you to take some immediate steps to remove such abnormal costing of medicines. We request your Ministry to be our Nodal Ministry for all our Health Care requirements.
5. We are thankful for accepting our suggestion to prepare Charter for senior citizens for their all Health Care Needs.
6. Incidentally, Ministry of Finance (Insurance), while advising the action taken by them, has advised under their letter dt 16-8-12 that some recommendations vide paras 12.47 to 12.53(except 12.51)  
 of K.S.Sastry Committee pertain to you and progress was requested under their number F.14017/8/2008-Ins.IV dt 1-4-08 and position may be obtained from you. Medical Insurance for each Senior Citizen is a must, as laid down in para 36 of NPOP, 99 and keeping the views and arguments in ``Obama Care`` of USA, our Government should also provide Health Insurance to all Senior Citizens.
7. In view of importance of Health Care of Elders and Ministry of Health having already embarked upon far reaching NPHCE, we may request the Ministry to form a small Committee with representatives of Associations of Senior Citizens to monitor the progress of NPHCE from time to time at Centre and State/UT levels, as provided in para 73 of NPOP, 99.This para lays down that there will be continuous dialogue and communication with NGOs on all ageing issues and on all services to be provided.
8. A line in reply to this representation in terms of para 66 of Office Manual will be very much appreciated. E/Mail of your concerned officials with names and designations may kindly be advised.
Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely,