Senior citizens and constitution Focus on rights

The country is moving to the direction of writing a new constitution.

The political parties are determined to make a new Nepal with their commitment for abolishing the existing discrimination on the basis of caste, language, social and economic status. Basically, the process of making a new Nepal will start after the new constitution is made. The people of all sectors believe that the new constitution will end the discrimination in our society. However, the senior citizens of the country have still not been assured their rights and their preservation. There is still confusion as to what will be the provision for the rights and welfare of senior citizens in the new constitution.

It will be good once

the representative organizations and individuals on behalf of the senior citizens participated in the process of writing the constitution. If such a provision is

managed, the complaints and expectation of senior citizens would be addressed in a true sense. The senior citizens feel strongly that

if they are also involved in the constitution writing task, the facility, preservation, and dignity expected by them would be granted appropriately.

The assurance of the senior citizen’s social security is the first necessity in the new constitution. The concept of our joint family running since the beginning of the society has been degrading gradually. Our family and social structure haunted by the materialistic thought is in the process of destruction. The joint family is going to be replaced with nuclear family. Due to the changing family structure, the senior citizens in the family are feeling insecure. As the parents and grand-parents in the family are assumed as different members of the family, the aged people in the family are feeling themselves out of place and insecure.

On the other hand, there is no legal provision for obliging the children who have taken the property

as the co-share from the parents for the compulsory care-taking of the parents. It is a legitimate demand raised by the senior citizens that as there is a legal

provision for the right of the children on the property earned by the parents; similar legal provision is needed for obliging the children to take care of their parents. Once this provision gets room in the new constitution, any one, whoever,

enjoys the co-share of the paternal property is obliged to take care of the aged

parents. Therefore, a constitutional provision is needed to be made for ensuring

adequate care and nursing of parents or anyone else from whom they have claim over the property.

Certainly, the country

has given an opportunity to listen to the voice of the people of all the sectors, at present. The commissions and organizations have

also been installed to

support all: women, children, youths, disabled, deaf, etc. Yet, there is no place for listening to the voice of the senior citizen. The voice demanding the formation of senior citizen commission has been raised from the aged people frequently.

Only when the experts of the constitution could express their sensitivity to this expectation of the senior citizens, it will certainly be a great achievement and proper respect for our senior citizens. At least, a separate desk is needed immediately, under the women, children and social welfare ministry for pouring out the pains and complaints of the senior citizens.

Doubtlessly, it will be great support for the country’s development if we could regularly use their

experience, knowledge, skill and education. It is urgently needed to coordinate the

inter-generation relationship in order to respect

the senior citizens as well as to utilize their knowledge.

At present, even in the western countries, they are

talking about the merits and advantages of the joint family. If we apply this fact morally and with more

determination, senior citizen’s homes would not be needed. It doesn’t mean that senior-citizen’s homes shouldn’t be installed, but it is not appropriate for the parents going to the senior-citizen’s home if the children are prosperous.

The government has managed the old age allowance for the over-70 years of age people. Still, there is a discernible weakness of the system as far as the distribution of the said allowance is concerned. The right method to provide this allowance to the right person is the necessity of the present day. No one can deny the fact that only after the formation of the right mechanism this allowance can get to the right person.

The identity card can be one of the devices, but it is not sufficient. All the concerned should take this into consideration.

Moreover, to make it wider the allowance should be given to those who have reached the age of sixty. Similarly, the state has the important liability for

the health-care of the senior citizens. In every hospital,

a Geriatric Ward should

be installed with their charge-free health-care which guarantees self-respect and life security for the senior citizens.

The government should institutionalize it as the

constitutional right of the

senior citizen.

Mr. Pradhan is involved with the network of

national senior citizen’s