Nepal | January 28, 2020

Government told to ensure dignity of senior citizens

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, August 8

The National Human Rights Commission has sent its suggestions regarding Senior Citizens Bill to the Women and Social Committee of the House of Representatives, urging the government to adopt measures ensuring that senior citizens led a dignified life without having to rely on the mercy of their children.

The NHRC has suggested the government to enforce will system in the country after a period of 15 years as part of empowering senior citizens through their access to resources. The will system would serve as a long-lasting solution to the woes of senior citizens, according to NHRC. Issuing a press release here today, the rights body said that there should be more debate on how provisions to obligate children for providing a certain percentage of their earnings to their parents could be implemented.

“Since most senior citizens of rural areas who are below poverty line cannot take advantage of this provision, the government should create a special fund for them,” the rights body said. The NHRC said the bill’s provision needed to be amended to allow anybody to file cases against children who do not provide maintenance for their ageing parents. The rights body also said the concerned government agency could take suo motu action against those children who do not provide maintenance to their ageing parents. It said there should be a separate bench at district courts to conduct continuous hearing of senior citizens’ case.

Those cases where local levels could not reconcile differences between ageing parents and their children should be adjudicated by district courts on the basis of reports submitted by local levels.

The rights body said it was local level’s responsibility to get retired and experienced senior citizens engaged by forming senior citizens’ groups.

The NHRC said the bill should be revised to obligate local governments to set up care centres for senior citizens so that they could receive integrated services from those centres. It also said the government should provide allowance to senior citizens living in shelter homes on the basis of identity cards without requiring them to produce citizenship certificates.

A version of this article appears in print on August 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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