Despite the plethora of laws and enforcement mechanisms, discrimination and atrocities against women continue. Likewise, in spite of many available measures such as old-age pension, medical benefits and initiatives for protection of life and property, the elders are neglected by their family, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said here on Tuesday.
Speaking at the World Elders’ Day programme at Avinashilingam University for Women, she said that the Parliament had enacted several laws. But without people’s support these laws would not be implemented in the true sense.
“We have to transform mindsets to bring meaning to these legislations. There are laws against foeticide, dowry harassment, domestic violence, and abandoning parents. But they have not helped in doing away with these evils,” she said.
“It is the responsibility of the younger members to take care of the elders and ensure their economical and physical security,” she added.
Recalling the work she did during her tenure as the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ms. Kumar said that she was successful in enacting the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents’ and Senior Citizens’ Act 2007.
She urged the students present to be sensitive to the emotional requirements of the elders, do ‘seva’ for them, love them and spend time with them. “Youngsters must be agents of change and usher in social awakening. I hope to see more of educated young women raising their voice against age-old prejudices and striving for uplift of society,” Mr. Kumar said.
The Speaker felicitated elders from senior citizen homes who had won competitions organised by NSS volunteers of the university in the presence of Chancellor T.S.K. Meenakshisundaram, Vice-Chancellor Sheela Ramachandran, and Registrar Gowri Ramakrishnan.
The volunteers had visited homes to conduct memory games, nutrition quiz, and word power games for the elders. Elders in the age group of 65 years to 82 years had taken part and the prize winners were present for the programme.