Kathmandu, January 26:

The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare is preparing a draft of the ‘Senior Citizens’ Act’ to ensure social, economic and human rights of the elderly citizens through a legislation.

“The proposed law will ensure protection and provide shelter to the economically and socially deprived senior citizens and will also give them shelter in the old age homes. A code of conduct will also be drafted under the Act to give guidelines and uniformity to run these homes, as well as provide financial support to establish and operate old age homes for those old people who are helpless, not cared and given service by anyone,” said Shyam Sundar Sharma, spokesperson of MoWCSW.

“Nepal is a signatory to the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing - 2002, and also made commitments in various international conferences,” said Sharma adding that the Act is being drafted as per the commitments to the Senior Citizen Policy and Working Policy 2002 and National Plan of Action on Ageing 2005, which will serve as a mandatory process to implement the existing policy.

Ganesh Prasad Upadhaya, under-secretary at MoWCSWW, said, “The legislation is being drafted with a view to making the old age secured and easy, developing the capacity of the elderly citizens, utilising their knowledge, skill and experience for nation-building.”

He said that the Act will strengthen district-level coordination committees that will formulate plans and policies, give directives, monitor old age homes and old age day care centres in various parts of the country.

He said the Act will ensure old people’s right to take decision on their property. The Act will also give concessions in the services to be provided by the government, exemption will be given in entertainment, transportation and health sectors.