It’s the Indian society’s centuries old traditions which teaches us inter alia that, it is our duty to respect and listen to our elders, not because they are always right but because they have more experiences of being wrong. In return of all the teachings and words of wisdom, we must provide them care and ensure that they live with security and dignity in their last phase of life, more so now, since nowadays they are forced to live alone and are thus exposed to the vulnerabilities of life.

The Constitution through Articles 41&46 lays down Directives whereby States shall make provisions securing work & public assistance to the elderly and promote the economic interest of the weaker sections of the society respectively.

These are not wrinkles

Eventually, The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 was enacted with the object of providing welfare and maintenance to parents & senior citizens and a speedy-inexpensive mechanism for protecting their life and property. It envisages setting up of Old Age Homes in every district. It imposes obligation on the children/relatives (if no children/grandchildren) of the parents/grandparents to maintain them so that they can lead a normal life. Maintenance constitutes provision for food, clothing, residence and medical treatment. The Tribunal can award maximum ₹10,000/m.

Personal laws of the Hindus[3], Muslims and Section 125 Crpc makes it obligatory to maintain ones aged parents only if they are unable to maintain themselves out of their own earnings.

Maintaining elders is our MORAL DUTY and once this is accepted nationally, there will be no abandoned/destitute elder roaming around in the streets looking for shelter because-

[1] The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

[2] Rules under the Maintenance & Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, Clause 15.

[3] The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, Section 20.

“THEY ARE THE REASON

WHY WE ARE

AND

WHO WE ARE”