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What steps should state take for senior citizens’ welfare? HC

Observing that it may not be sufficient to declare welfare schemes or facilities for senior citizens online, the Bombay High Court has asked an NGO to suggest what other measures should Maharashtra government adopt in this regard.

A division bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and Makrand Karnik was hearing yesterday a public interest litigation filed by NGO ‘Mission Justice’, seeking awareness among senior citizens about the ‘Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Citizens Act’ and its effective implementation.

While the state government claimed that it has provided necessary data for the senior citizens online and that they can derive advantage by going through the information, the NGO claimed most senior citizens do not use Internet or smart phones, and hence online information would not be useful to them.

The petitioner’s lawyer, Sidharth Murarka, said he had personally gone through the website to seek information for the welfare of senior citizens, but could not find any such thing for them.

He argued that the government should display such information at public places like police stations, shopping malls and public gardens etc, which are frequented by the senior citizens.

Schemes for the welfare of elders should be publicised in newspapers and television. Besides, the numbers of local police stations and banks located in their respective areas should be displayed in the cooperative housing societies where the senior citizens live, the NGO suggested.

Such information should also include the rights of the senior citizens so that they become aware of this and use them in case of need, the petitioner said.

The high court has asked the NGO to file an affidavit on the next occasion giving suggestions in writing on what steps the government should take to make the elders secure and comfortable while looking after their welfare.

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