Special Correspondent

VELLORE: The Revenue Divisional Officers (RDOs) would head the Tribunals constituted by the Tamil Nadu government to hear petitions from parents and senior citizens in the respective sub-divisions seeking maintenance from their legal heirs under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007.

According to a release from the Collector of Vellore district, the above Act treats the neglect of parents or senior citizens as a crime. Under the Act, if parents or senior citizens do not have the resources to maintain themselves, they can seek maintenance from their sons, daughters, grand children or other legal heirs (in the case of senior citizens who do not have children). Petitions seeking maintenance from children/legal heirs could be submitted to the RDO. The Tribunal headed by the RDO would hear their petitions. The District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO) has been appointed as the Maintenance Officer and the Mediation Officer under the Act.

If the petitioner so desires, the Maintenance Officer should appear on his/her behalf before the Tribunal and assist him/her. Parents and senior citizens seeking maintenance under the Act could contact the DSWO at the district-level and the social welfare extension officers at the panchayat union level.

The District Collector would be the Appellate Authority under the Act, and would hear appeals against the order of the Tribunal headed by the RDOs. Senior citizens living alone could contact the police station in their jurisdiction for assistance in protecting their properties.