‘Present generation is forgetting sacrifices made by the older generation and driving them to old age homes’

The apathy of the Government of Andhra Pradesh towards the welfare of senior citizens has come in for severe criticism at a workshop on ‘review of national policy on older persons’ organised by the Nippon Care-Fit Service Association – India, at Andhra University here on Friday.

Director and Head of AP State for HelpAge India S. Dass said that even 12 years after formulation of the National Policy on Older Persons, the AP government was yet to come out with its policy towards elderly persons in the State.

Though senior citizens form a sizable vote bank, the State government has shown no interest towards their security and protection.

Coming down heavily on State government, Mr. Dass said that the Kiran Kumar Reddy government was ignoring the demand to increase old age pensions from Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 but was spending huge amounts for propagating the Congress. He said in Andhra Pradesh about 10 per cent of the population was ‘senior citizens’ and more than 60 per cent of elderly were living under abject poverty but no politicians or officials have shown interest to implement the policy and make inclusive programmes for the welfare of elders.

Talking on the scenario in Visakhapatnam and surrounding areas, Mr. Dass said not only in metros but also in smaller cities like Vizag, the present generation was forgetting the sacrifices made by the older generation and mercilessly driving them to old age homes.

Survey findings

Quoting from the findings of a survey, Mrinal Lankapalli of Help Age India said that about one-third of the parents were not taken care by their children and in most of cases sons, daughters and daughters-in-law were abusing the elder persons of the family. Mrinal said the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act, 2007, was not been effectively implemented in the State. He expressed that in Andhra Pradesh less than 5 per cent police were aware of the existence of Act and less than ten cases were registered under it. A Professor of Social Work in Andhra University K. Visweswara Rao said that a couple committed suicide by jumping into a reservoir in Visakhapatnam district as their children failed to take care of them in their old age and in another incident a 90-year-old woman appealed to the District Collector seeking mercy killing as her sons were neglecting her.

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