G. Prabhakaran

Proposal was submitted to government in 2006

Local bodies have to set aside 5% funds for homes

Rights panel had taken up the

issue in 2005

PALAKKAD: The State government is yet to clear a proposal forwarded by the Social Welfare Department in 2006 to open 40 old-age homes to take care of destitute people.

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), in its order on August 5, 2005, had pointed to the need to open homes for the destitute in all panchayats. The crumbling of the joint family system and the emergence of nuclear families has compounded the problems associated with aging, it said.

President of Kottekkad Karunalayam Charitable Trust R. Balasubramanian, who took up the matter with the Commission, said there was a stipulation that local bodies should set apart five per cent of the funds for rehabilitation of the destitute.

The SHRC, in its order on August 5, 2005, had directed the Social Welfare Department to “take effective and viable measures to ease the hardship of the destitute by rehabilitating them.”

A home may be set up in each panchayat and municipal area to provide accommodation, etc., to the destitute people with the co-operation of all sections of society under the control and supervision of the State government. It said the task of finding a suitable location may be entrusted to the local bodies and social organisations.

Fund-raising

The local bodies concerned should raise the required funds to maintain and operate the homes.

Shortage of funds, if any, should be met by the State government, the Commission said.

In his petition to the Commission, Mr. Balasubramanian said aged people faced several problems in society arising from the erosion of values.

He said many of them remained neglected and not looked after.

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