Several court orders had been passed in this regard

It is the responsibility of the State to provide education and medical care facilities to all citizens without expecting the participation of non-governmental organisations and other such organisations, said D. Hariparanthaman, judge, Madras High Court.

“Several court orders had been passed in this regard. Still people were yet to receive medical care as part of their rights,” he said at the inaugural ceremony of a Geriatrics Centre established by Society for Community Organisation (SOCO) Trust at Kalathur Vilakku in Mangudi Panchayat of Sivaganga district.

Stating that the credibility of many trusts was questionable, he said: “These days trusts are used only to run engineering colleges. But SOCO stands apart from them and we need people like Mahaboob Batcha (managing trustee of SOCO) till the Government takes up full responsibility for social welfare.”

Another judge, N. Kirubakaran, said that desertion of the aged and spurt in nuclear families were the fallout of increasing urbanisation. The joint family system had collapsed because all Governments shifted their focus away from agriculture to industrialisation.

The ultimate victims of such a shift are the children who grow up in an environment devoid of the love and affection of the elderly; he said and recalled that in one case a 30-year-old woman broke down in front of him because her parents were separated ever since she was born.

“The woman wept for more than five minutes. On seeing this I too could not control my emotions because I am also a human being. I have not come down from the heavens,” the judge said and stressed that the warmth of a mother and able guidance of a father were essential for every child.

Earlier, the judge handed over documents relating to two acres of land donated by SOCO Trust to Ritamma, Managing Trustee of MITHRA Trust, for establishing a special school for the differently abled. The school would come up in the Justice P.N. Bhagwati Health and Educational Estate in Mangudi.

Advocate T. Lajapathi Roy declared open a legal aid centre for the aged in the Estate spread over 47 acres.