Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Welfare of 1.2 crore Senior Citizens of Maharashtra.

M.V.Ruparelia, A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (East), Dist. Thane. 401 107. M. 09821732855. E/Mail: mvrup@yahoo.co.in
To                                                                                                  Date. 25-12-12.
Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra, Mantralaya, Mumbai-400032.
Respected Sir,
Sub: Welfare of 1.2 crore Senior Citizens of Maharashtra.
Heartiest Greetings for Merry Charismas & Happy and Prosperous New Year 2013 to You and the entire State Officials for  maintaining the Status of Most Progressive and Most Advanced State of the Country in coming years also. You will appreciate that 1.2 crore Senior Citizens of our State have also contributed their might in bringing this Status.
You had promised on 1st October, 2012 at Pune that State Policy for Elders of the State will be declared by Diwali but this has not been done due to perhaps unavoidable reasons for last 14 years!! Non-declaration of Policy by State should not deprive 1.2 crore Maharashtrian Elders of various provisions of NPOP, 99 and other directives of Government of India from time to time, as welfare of Elders has to be done by State, whether State Policy on the basis of NPOP,99 exists or not. State has already declared Part I of State Policy on 14-6-04 and can/should declare IInd Part for non-controversial matters, so that 1.2 crore Senior Citizens of Maharashtra are not deprived of all Provisions of NPOP, 99 notified by Government of India in 1999 for welfare of Elders of the Country. Here, even simple directive is not being issued by State, though repeated by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Delhi to ``issue instructions for its (International Day of Older Persons-IDOP) observance in a befitting manner at the State, District & Block Levels on 1st October.......Needless to say, these programmes should be organized with active involvement of Senior Citizens themselves, Panchayati Raj, Municipal Bodies, Nehru Yuvak Kendras, educational institutes (including their NSS units) and NGOs, especially those working for Senior Citizens.``Such instructions are repeated every year. We enclose D.O. no. 15-39(12)/09-10/AGii dt 3-9-10 from Shri K M Acharya, the then Secretary (Welfare) to our Chief Secretary, readily available with us for ready reference. We requested our Principal Secretary, Social Justice under our letter dt 30-12-10(copy enclosed) along with this directive dt 3-9-10 from Delhi followed by large number of reminders letters to Shri Sachin Ahir, State Minister on 23-5-11, to Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister on 14-6-11 (copy enclosed) ,14-8-11, 27-10-11, 11-1-12, 4-3-12, 14-5-12 & 4-9-12 but no reply is given till date to any of these letters even addressed to you by name to take action on certain items even without waiting for declaration of State Policy but no action is taken by our Ministry of Social Justice, which just does not function and does not give any reply to any letters from Senior Citizens or their associations!! We took up this particular matter of not issuing instructions through RTI Application dt 14-4-11, Ist Appeal dt 20-5-11 also but no one replied. On hearing of IInd Appeal dt 7-7-11 on 9-11-12, State Information Commissioner observed that Shri Sanjay Gurekar, Public Information Officer has failed miserably in this and should give the required information before 30-11-12. Without reading the Application, he has sent almost 700 pages about State Policy, 2004 not asked  in this Application. He has also sent copy of letter dt 22-11-12 in reply to our letter dt 30-12-10 for  the following 6 items of not issuing instructions, saying that instructions will be issued only after State Policy is declared( may be after 100 years!!). He has not obtained any written orders from competent authority to defy the orders of Government of India for issuing instructions!! Earlier also Shri Vilas Patil in his Speaking Orders dt 11-7-11 in Appeal no. 6852/02 had passed strictures against this Ministry and even after our letters dt 30-8-11, 28-10-11,5-12-11,11-1-12, 8-2-12, 3-3-12, 26-3-12, 11-5-12,15-6-12, 21-7-12 and 4-9-12 to SIC with copy to Ministry of Social Justice for that appeal, but not a single letter is replied till date. We shall be thankful, if you look into this very sorry state of affairs in Ministry of Social Justice of not reading and replying any representations from Senior Citizens & their organizations and nominate some pro-elder competent higher level officer as Nodal Officer, as requested in our letter dt 14-6-11, taking action on various other points brought out therein. No action is taken to set up State Council & District Committees, though laid down in Rule 21 & 22 of Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Rules, 2010 having been notified on 23-6-10, even after 2 ½ years!! There is no initiative to do anything!!  
      i) Observing International Day of Senior Citizens-  1st October
ii) World Elder Abuse Awareness Day- 15 th June
iii) World Alzheirness Day-21st September
iv) Giving Vayoshreshtha Sanman awards at State & District/Municipal Level & inviting applications for Delhi level.
v) Inviting Applications every year, notifying dates for Applications etc
for Integrated Programme in the State
vi) Involving Panchayati Raj Institutions & Municipalities in welfare of
Senior Citizens.
vii)      Instructions for welfare of senior citizens etc to Media; Trusts;
Charitable Hospitals; State & Municipal Hospitals; NGOs; Civic Authorities
etc as per various paras of NPOP, 99.
viii)  Copy of latest Annual Report of work done in the State for Elders,
as laid down in NPOP, 99
We shall be thankful, if proper instructions are got issued for these items and other matters and regular negotiating machinery is established with our Associations & prominent senior citizens to implement various policies early in Maharashtra.
A line in reply in terms of para 66 of Office Manual will be very much appreciated.
Encl: 3.
Thanking You,
Yours Sincerely

Monday, December 10, 2012

Provision of Funds for Senior Citizens in 12th Plan.

M.V.Ruparelia, A 503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (East), Dist. Thane-Maharashtra-401107.  E/Mail: mvrup@yahoo.co.in
To                                                                                                10-12-12. 
 Dr Manmohan Singh, Honorable Prime Minister of India
South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110101.

Mananivar Pradhan Mantri Ji,   

Sub: Draft 12th Five Year Plan to be discussed on 27-12-12.

We, 12 crore Elders of the Country, are disappointed to see 2 page-9 paragraphs from 24.233 to 24.242 on Senior Citizens in Final Draft of 12th Five Year Plan to be discussed on 27-12-12 in NAC. Elders of the Country look to you for making proper provisions in this Plan, you also being one of the Elders. As you are aware a National Policy was announced in 1999 after Cabinet`s approval on 13-2-99. Large number of provisions are remaining unimplemented even after 14 years due to Planning Commission & Finance Ministry not making available the required funds to various Stake Holders including States/UTs, though required to do so under para 93.  A glance at 12th Plan Final Draft to be discussed with NAC on 27-12-12 will indicate as to how much and how sincerely Government is providing funds for welfare of other weaker, vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of the Society like SC/ST/OBC/Handicaps/Disabled/Minorities but step motherly treatment is given to their Elders, who are more abused at present than so-called abused communities, more disabled & more handicapped than certified disabled & handicaps and in minority (10%).!!

Nodal Ministry had given various recommendations for inclusion in 12th Plan after considering practical difficulties felt by them in implementing the Policy in time but only few were accepted by Working Group on Social Welfare of Planning Commission, which gave about 30 recommendations (2.8.1 to 2.8.15, 2.9.1 to 2.9.15) in October, 11. It is observed from Final Draft placed on Web Site that about 11 recommendations are taken note of out of more than 30 given by Working Group. No cognizance is taken of the following recommendations of Working Group:

i)                    2.8.3 : To increase Insurance Cover under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna to Rs 1 lakh for Senior Citizens.

ii)                  2.8.4: Provision of 1800 crore for setting more Geriatric Centres/Wards for Senior Citizens.

iii)                2.8.5: Enhancement of Pension under Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme. Many MPs have represented from time to time, the last being through Unstarred Question in Rajya Sabha vide Question no. 1853 dt 30-8-12 to increase this pension to Rs 5000 p.m. During Nationwide agitation Pension Parishad of Smt Aruna Roy, Member of NAC, Rs 2000 minimum was demanded.

iv)                2.8.7: 14 Centres for Assisted Living for rehabilitation of Elderly suffering from dementia etc.

v)                   2.8.9: Setting up of National Institute of Ageing.

vi)                2.8.11: Providing Training to Care Givers in 100 cities.

vii)              2.8.14: Free Legal Service to BPL Senior Citizens.

viii)            2.9.1: Setting up of Separate Department of Senior Citizens. At present, subject of Drug addicts is also attached. Department is understaffed.

ix)                2.9.3 to 2.9.10: These are important matters required to be reflected in Plan.

x)                  2.9.11: Weekly Programme of 1 hour on Doordarshan will go a long way to establish awareness amongst Society. Similar Provision for Private Channels also must be provided by legislation or grants.

xi)                2.9.13 to 15: Very important Provisions to be enforced and provided in Plan.

According to News, Planning Commission has turned down the proposal of Ministry Of Social Justice to provide Old Age Homes for destitute Senior Citizens at district level as Central Scheme on the plea that this involves non-recurring expenditure only and as such States have to provide funds and not the Planning Commission. In the final draft also, Planning Commission has insisted on States to provide funds for this huge work. This scheme of providing Old Age Homes for destitutes is statutorily provided in Sec 19 of Maintenance & Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and Rules framed there under. 150 destitutes in such Homes are to be provided from day one, nutritious & wholesome diet; adequate clothing from time to time; linens, sanitation,  hygiene, security arrangements; transport to nearby hospitals; premiums for health insurance; electricity, fans, heating arrangements during winter; recreation facilities; televisions, newspapers, books; managing staff etc. All these require recurring expenditure much more than initial non-recurring expenditure of providing Homes. Argument of Planning Commission that this involves only non-recurring expenditure is apparently not correct.

 Working Group on Social Defence constituted by Planning Commission for formulation of 11th Plan had recommended to transfer this to Plan Head to facilitate establishment of Old Age Homes on large scale. Ministry of Social Justice had also formulated the Scheme to construct 300 such Homes at a cost of Rs 635 crore during 11 th Plan. This was not accepted by Planning Commission, though Rs 60 crore was provided in 11th Plan Period and matter was postponed for discussion in Working Group of 12th Plan!! Planning Commission was not interested to facilitate provision made in Statutory Act, 2007!!

Working Group of 12th Plan examined the whole issue in depth and not only recommended funds  for generation of Awareness of this Act, 2007  but also Rs 1680 crore for assisting States to discharge their statutory duties  of providing Old Age Homes during 12th Plan. Para 93 of National Policy, 99 also lays down that Planning Commission & Finance Ministry will facilitate budgetary provisions required for implementation of the Policy, 99. Act, 2007 is the outcome of this Policy, 99 and Planning Commission cannot deny the provision of sufficient funds even to States/UTs for this noble cause statutorily provided in Centrally Sponsored Act, 2007 for benefit of 3546.8 lakh BPL Elders of the Country. If not provided, no Homes will be constructed by States/UTs as not done since 2007 to 2012!! As repeatedly brought to your notice for last 3 years of our agitations, large number of provisions of NPOP, 99 is not implemented by stake holders & States due to unhelpful attitude of Planning Commission & Finance Ministry in not providing funds, as laid down in Policy, 99.

We request You as one of us as well as the Highest Authority of the Country to look in to this unhelpful attitude of Planning Commission and get sufficient funds provided for your 12 crore Elders in 12th Plan.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Scheme for free Treatment of Indigent & Weaker Section Citizens in Charitable Hospitals in Maharashtra.

Scheme for free Treatment of Indigent & Weaker Section Citizens in Charitable Hospitals in Maharashtra.                                    M.V.Ruparelia.

Any Citizen including Senior Citizen, whose annual income is less than Rs 50000 is defined as Indigent and whose income does not exceed Rs 1,00,000 p.a. is defined as Weaker Section for this scheme.

As per Sec 41AA of The Bombay Public Trust Act,1950 (and similar Acts elsewhere) All Public Charitable Trusts registered under Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950 and running hospitals, nursing homes, maternity homes or any kind of medical relief centres and whose annual expenditure exceeds Rs 5 lakh p.a. shall reserve 10% of total number of operational beds for free treatment to indigent patients and further 10% for weaker section for treatment at concessional rates. List of Charitable Hospitals is available with Charity Commissioner and in their Web Site. As many as 59 Hospitals in Mumbai are coming under this facility including big Charitable Hospitals like Beach Candy, Bombay, Jaslok, Lilavati, Hurkishondas in Mumbai. All senior citizens having less than 1lakh income p.a. can take advantage of these hospitals.

Each such Hospital etc shall create an Indigent Patients Fund (IPF) and credit 2% of all bills of all their patients (excluding indigent & weaker section) without any deductions. All donations received from others including other trusts for Indigent Patients shall be credited to this fund.
The following non-billable services shall be free to indigent & weaker section patients:
a)      Bed, b) RMO services, c) Nursing Services, d) Food, e) Linen, f) Water, g) Electricity, h) Routine Diagnostics, i) House Keeping Services.
The indigent & weaker section patients will be provided all treatments in all departments free of charge to indigents and by payment of 50% of cost of medicines (purchase cost), consumables and implants by weaker section.

No relatives of Trustees nor employees (including dependents) of the Hospitals belonging to indigent or weaker section will be included in this 10% reservation. Hospitals will verify Economic Status of indigent & weaker sections coming for treatment through their Medical Social Worker on the basis of certificates from Tehsildar and/or Ration Cards of BPL/Weaker sections.

Detail Scheme may be seen in Web Site: www.mahacharity.gov.in  (Interim Scheme framed by Bombay High Court).Income limit has been modified as above as per advertisement of Charity Commissioner, Greater Mumbai in their advertisement (DGIPR/2012-13/2588) in Newspapers (DNA of 2-12-12).