Critical of Review of National Policy for Older People Akshita jain Alisha MA(PSYCHOLOGY) SEMESTER II INTRODUCTION •Old age (also referred to as one's eld) consists of ages nearing or surpassing the average life span of human beings, and thus the end of the human life cycle! •Today there are 77 million old people in India, and most of them are facing some or other problems in everyday life. •Problems faced- - Physical inability - lack of family support - Financial insecurity - Overall welfare problems There are no specific official data on the income of the elderly in India. The estimated number of poor persons in the total population of India was 272 million in 1984-85 (Government of India, 1986). Gore (1992) estimated that about 6 per cent of the poor persons, that is, about 16.3 million persons were above the age of 60 years and poor. He also adds that a vast majority of the poor elderly persons were not receiving old- age pensions. In India, recently laws and policies regarding older people have started coming out I action. The national policy for older people and maintenance and welfare bill for parents and senior citizens,2007 will be discussed and analyzed. The National Policy for Older People The national policy seeks to assure older persons that their concerns are national concerns and they will not live unprotected, ignored or marginalized. It aims to strengthen their legitimate place in society and help older persons to live the last phase of their life with purpose, dignity and peace. •Principal areas of intervention- •Financial security •Health care and nutrition •Shelter •Education •Welfare •Protection of life and property Advantages- •Strengthening of primary health care system to enable it to meet the health care needs of older persons - •Training and orientation to medical and paramedical personnel in health care of the elderly. •Promotion of the concept of healthy ageing. •Assistance to societies for production and distribution of material on geriatric care. •Provision of separate queues and reservation of beds for elderly patients in hospitals. •Extended coverage under the Antyodaya Scheme with emphasis on provision of food at subsidized rates for the benefit of older persons especially the destitute and marginalized sections. Disadvantages- -lack of awareness. - spending of pension money remains uninformed. - older persons’ safety is still a problem in the country. -Only 7 million are BPL - only 250 rupees per month are given under pension scheme - need for inclusion of health care schemes covering private hospitals too. - some provisions remain mere a statement Maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens act, 2007 According to Clause 4(1), the senior citizen including parent is entitled to apply for maintenance under Clause 5 if he is unable to maintain himself from his own earnings or out of the property owned by him. A parent or grand-parent can make an application for maintenance against one or more of his children who are majors (‘children’ includes son, daughter, grandson and grand-daughter). Under Clause 5(1) of the Bill, a senior citizen or a parent may apply for maintenance under Clause 4 of the bill. (A senior citizen is an Indian citizen who is at least 60 years old. A parent could be father or mother, whether biological, adoptive or step father or step mother, whether or not the father or the mother is a senior citizen). If the senior citizen or parent is incapable, any other person or a voluntary organization authorized by the senior citizen or parent can apply for maintenance on their behalf. The Tribunal may take cognizance suo motu (that is, it can act on its own cognizance). These two provisions are welcome since most senior citizens or parents do not have the energy (they do not have the money anyway) to apply for maintenance. Disadvantages- 1)No mention of people who become grandparents before 60 yrs of age(Clause 5 is silent about how the application for maintenance should be made by a grand-parent (who is not yet 60) under Clause 4) 2) “unfriendly” for the rural tradition of family (One may find three generations living in the same village and at times even under the same roof! If the son is also indigent, how can he maintain his parent and grand parent?) 3)Confusing definitions of the act Thank you!!!!!!!!!