‘No adequate awareness on senior citizens protection under welfare act’
Posted by: nt November 10, 2018 in Goa News
PANAJI: Director of social welfare department S Naik on Friday said that very few cases have been dealt with by the maintenance tribunal to provide effective and speedy relief to elderly persons against physical and mental abuse as there has been no enough awareness of protection available to senior citizens in terms of their life and property under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and Goa Rules 2009.
He said creating proper awareness among the youth on the rights of senior citizens is essential, since they will be able to uphold their rights in the future as responsible citizens.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday to highlight provisions of the Act, the director said that the line departments have not created enough awareness of protection available for senior citizens and parents. The welfare department in past one year has organised eight meetings with various other departments to ensure proper implementation of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and Goa Rules 2009, but those departments did not function as required.
He also said that condition of senior citizens in the state was not as critical as other states. Goa has over 1.60 lakh senior citizens, many of whom are facing abuse and even have been abandoned by their families. Many times such incidents even go unreported. “In Salcete, the maintenance tribunal has received seven cases from senior citizens complaining about their abusive children in past one year and four were disposed of,” he added.
Speaking further on effective implementation of the Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, Naik said that taluka-wise awareness programme will be organised in the north district. “We will also participate in district legal service authority camps to create awareness on facilities available for senior citizens,” he said.
He also expressed the need to make state old age home-free. “Though old age homes take care of many, the sadness and trauma of being betrayed by their own prevails among the inmates. In the state we have 40 old age homes. Rising elderly population, migration of youth to other countries and increase in the number of nuclear families have contributed to this phenomenon. We want to bring a culture of old age home-free state by bringing a change in the mindset of youth,” he stated.
Assistant director of social welfare Sudesh Gawde said that elderly people should not be considered as burden.
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