Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Violation of Human Right of Negotiations with Government for 12 crore Elders of the Country.

M.V.Ruparelia, Chief Patron, All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISCCON),
A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (E).  District Thane,  
Maharashtra. 401 107.   M.09821732855. E/Mail: mvrup@yahoo.co.in
To                                              Date: 29-1-14.
Chairman, National Human Rights Commission,                                                                                                
Manav Adhikar Bhawan, Block C, GPO Complex, INA,
New Delhi-110001.
Sub: Violation of Human Right of Negotiations with Government for 12 crore Elders of the Country.
There are 12 crore Elders in the Country, who are denied the Right of Negotiation with Government and proper Machinery for Negotiation is not being created inspite of repeated representations.
1.     As you may be aware, Government of India, with the approval of Cabinet, notified National Policy of Older Persons (NPOP) on 13-2-99. As per para 96 of this Policy, an autonomous registered National Association of Older Persons (NAOP) at National, State & District levels was to be established to ``mobilize Senior Citizens, particulate their interests, promote & undertake programmes & activities for their wellbeing & to advise the Government on all matters relating to older persons.`` No  action is taken in 15 years to form such useful negotiating Machinery nor any of the existing registered Confederation/Federation/Associations is recognized 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 any Ministry dealing with matters pertaining to Senior Citizens. To-day, there is no machinery to listen to the voices of Senior Citizens or to get information of what Government is doing for their Elders.
2.     Ministry of Personnel, P.G. & Pensions, which is a Nodal Ministry for all Pensioners of all departments, 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. 27 Associations of them have been provided with Pension Portals-Hard ware, Soft ware & Training at the cost of Ministry and are paid Rs 75000 p.a. for telephone, internet connection, stationery, AMC/Battery replacement, subsidy towards rent for office building, water, electricity etc and honorarium of part time Data Entry Operator to each of these 27 Associations (Ministry of Personnel`s no. Lr.No55(6)2012-P&P© dt 28-3-12).  They have established SCOVA, which meets regularly. Their Web Site provides direct contact with them by Pensioners & Associations for their grievances.
3.     Our Nodal Ministry of Social Justice has not recognized a single Association or sending a single circular to any of the Associations. Web Site for Senior Citizens is also complicated and not kept up to date and most of the time difficult to get connected for a particular subject. 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 grassroots Senior Citizens.  It is absolutely necessary that all such major Associations are immediately recognized by Nodal Ministry and SCOVA type Negotiating Machinery making all ministries to participate in such Machinery must be created immediately for 12 crore Elders of the Country. All Ministries including Pension Ministry (as these Associations deal with Pensioners also) are required to be ordered by the Commission to send copies of all communications pertaining to Senior Citizens to various Associations. According to Allocation of Business Rules of Government of India, though Ministry of Social Justice is allotted the work of welfare of senior citizens as a Nodal Ministry, overall management and monitoring etc. of the sectoral programmes in respect of Senior Citizens is the responsibility of the concerned Central Ministries, State Governments and Union territory Administrations.
As most of the States/UTs have not constituted State Councils laid down in National Policy, 99 or State Councils, District Committees, Volunteers Committees at each Police station as laid down in Statutory Act of Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007, orders are also to be given to them by the Commission for recognizing State-level Associations and send them all circulars with facility of representation.
4.     National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC) provided as per para 95 of Policy, 99 does not serve any purpose having only 5 representatives from Associations of Senior Citizens and 5 from Associations of Pensioners for representing 12 crore Elders and not meeting for years together, sincerely and seriously. Last 2 meetings of this committee were held on 23-10-09 and 2-11-11, though required to be held twice in a year. No meeting is held for last 3 years. Formation of New National Council was notified in Gazette of India on 22-2-12 but Council is not yet formed even after two years of notification. No action is being taken on suggestions of representatives neither of senior citizens nor on minutes nor even minutes notified in web site in time. Policies & Acts notified by Government are not implemented for years together, representations from Associations & individuals are not being replied!!
It is very much necessary that Commission looks in to this sorry plight of 12 crore Elders of the Country and get them at least their Right to Negotiate, if not the notified facilities etc!
Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely,


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Open Discussion on Important Issue of Abondoning Parents by Children onhttp://vyasa-kaaranam-ketkadey.blogspot.in/2014/01/discussion-on-mwpsca-intiated-by-rn

1.     We are thankful to Shri Vyasamoorthy for starting Open Discussion on this important subject. He is requested to start some Brainstorming Sessions on Google (+) Hangouts for important urgent discussions, as and when necessary, as that can be done with 15 persons at a time. All Senior Citizens & those working for Senior Citizens should give a brief report to Shri Vyasamoorthy for putting in this site for information and comments of other Senior Citizens about deliberations held by any Core Group, Meetings with Local/State/Central Public Authorities etc attended by them. At present, there is no machinery to disseminate any important matters to Senior Citizens at grassroots levels. This sight should be made popular for this.

2.     It is very good that S/Shri Mital & Dr Kinjwadekar have expressed their views before NHRC, Delhi in core group meeting & thereafter in writing and has invited views of others on lacunas in the Act, 2007; act of indifference of States and suggestions, if any.

3.     Act, 2007 is basically incomplete. It talks about maintenance by children of all but does not speak about maintenance of parents & Senior Citizens, whose children are not financially capable of maintaining even their own nuclear family or those, who do not have children or relatives to look after. Abandonment by such poor children/relatives cannot be avoided by any stringent punishments, as they have nothing to lose & they will be burden on public exchequer in jails! Keeping the expenditure required to be spent on such defaulters in jails, government should provide in the Act, pension/compensation to such children for keeping parents with them. Present Indira Gandhi Pension by Ministry of Rural Development to only those belonging to BPL Families as per incorrect 13 parameters of that Ministry deprives large number of poor senior citizens. Proper pension/compensation for poor families for keeping parents should be included in the Act, so that senior citizens can get it legally. Without any financial help and fear of fine & jail under this Act, poor citizens have no other alternative but to abandon their parents secretly. Act encourages/forces such abandonment!! With Society and Government with anti-elders policies of Finance Ministry and Planning Commission of the Country, more and more abandonments only can be expected. Finance Ministry & Planning Commission are required to facilitate budgetary provisions for implementation of NPOP, 99 as per para 93 but due to their anti-elder policy, many of provisions for Welfare of Elders laid down in NPOP, 99 have remained unimplemented. Without providing proper financial help by Finance Ministry to poor families to keep & maintain their parents and not providing funds by Planning Commission for sufficient number of Old Age Homes, poor families have no other alternative than abandoning their parents!! Even provision in para 82 to provide tax relief to encourage children to co-reside with their parents is not implemented by Finance Ministry even after 15 years!

4.      Society and Government recognize & help organizations for children; women; SC/ST; Minority; Cows; Animals/Birds (PETA) etc but do not bother about their Elders required to be treated as ``Matru Devo-Pitru Devo.`` Elders have not been given any recognition nor any rights to represent! For indifferent attitudes of States/Centre, our demand before NHRC should be for our Human Right of Representation & Negotiation, as given to Pensioners by Ministry of Pension at least, though we should insist on This Right, as given to serving employees of Governments like Permanent Negotiating Machinry/JCM and compulsory arbitration in case of disagreement etc. There should be no hesitation on part of our Associations/Organizations to go for PIL for implementation of important policies/Acts announced/notified by Government, if not implemented in reasonable time. At present, we are avoiding/hesitating even to represent!! Even mother does not feed the Child, if he does not cry!! We must insist before NHRC for getting State Councils, District Committees, and Volunteers` Committees at each Police Station etc, as legislated in this Act being provided within six months to enable local Senior Citizens to get various benefits of the Act.

5.     We must insist before NHRC to get provisions of the Act about providing Old Age Home for destitutes/poor senior citizens in each District/Village implemented by fixing a target of one year or so. In addition to such provision, Society and Government must lay down that all religious trusts/institutes (temples, masjids, churches etc) and social & cultural Trusts etc must provide shelter, food, health care etc to poor elders by providing Ashrams/Old Age Homes etc compulsorily out of their incomes (at least 50%), just as Corporates have to spend a meager (2%) of their income as CSR. 10% of CSR Funds must be spent for Senior Citizens. Well-to-do citizens; Private & Public Merchants/ Malls; Trusts; Hospitals etc should be encouraged/forced to adopt poor Elders for regular supply of food, medical care, shelter etc, Stringent punishments, as suggested by our two leaders should be for those, who, even after having proper income, abandon their parents.

6.     As definition of ``Welfare`` in sec 2 (k) includes recreation centres and other amenities necessary for the senior citizens, all welfare provisions like NPOP, 99/NPSrC, 2011-14-20(!); IPOP, 2008;NPHCE etc should be provided in this act instead of as  separate policy, approved by cabinet to claim implementation legally.

7.     In addition to Amendments suggested by our leaders, the following may also be considered:

i)                Sec 4 (1) to (3):  Add suitably ``and having sufficient means``.  Provide sufficient government financial help for parents and senior citizens of children & relatives, who do not have sufficient means and define the limit for sufficient means to enable such children/relatives to keep parents with them.

ii)              Sec 19 (1): Replace the word ``may`` with ``must`` in first line. One Old Age Home for 150 destitutes in one District is not apparently sufficient, looking to the cases of abandonment of parents by poor children/relatives and total number of poor families in the Country, not having sufficient means to maintain parents.

iii)            Sec 20 (1): 10% of total beds should be earmarked for senior citizens. For Defence, Railways etc departments also, rule of earmarking of 10% of total beds should be laid down, as present practice is to give preference to serving employees.

iv)             Sec 20(2): Separate ques are provided only for case papers and not for examination by doctors and giving medicines. Provision should be elaborated to this extent.

v)               Sec 20 (5): States/UTs and departments like Defence, Railways etc must provide all facilities included in NPHCE by special efforts by a target date, as it is reported by Ministry of Health that though sufficient funds are provided by them, implementing agencies do not provide these facilities.

vi)             Sec 21 (i to iii): Provide specific time schedule and lay down periodical ATRs to be given in Media & Ministry of Social Justice for all three items.

vii)           Sec 22 (1): Provision should be made here for obtaining monthly/Quarterly ATR from Magistrate, as it is observed that though these duties are given to Magistrates by States, no Magistrate has acted on these provisions.

viii)         Sec 23 (1): Restriction of `after commencement of Act`` should be removed.

ix)             Sec 24: Such provision without proper provision for financial help will lead to more abandonment secretly.

x)               Sec 31: For periodic review and monitoring the progress of the implementation of the provisions of this Act by the State Governments, a Committee of representatives of Senior Citizens from each State/UT and Central Organization should be nominated.

xi)             Sec 32: Similar Committee of Senior Citizens for monitoring the progress of the implementation of the provisions of this Act should be provided at State/UT level.