Vijayawada

Left in the lurch at sunset years

Left in the lurch: Even wealthy families are neither willing to take care of their elders nor paying them maintenance, says Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association State president Mothukuri Venkateswara Rao. FILE PHOTO

Left in the lurch: Even wealthy families are neither willing to take care of their elders nor paying them maintenance, says Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association State president Mothukuri Venkateswara Rao. FILE PHOTO  

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Tough measures sought to check neglect of senior citizens

Veeramachineni Pruthvi Singh is lonely, homeless and dejected. The 75-year-old is a native of Rajamahendravanam where he owned a printing press which earned him a decent income. But as he grew old and frail, his only son took control over his business and drove him away from home.

The septuagenarian shifted to the Kamayyathopu area in city and unable to fend for himself, stayed in a home for the aged where he learned about the activities of the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association and approached it seeking justice.

The association represented his case to the district tribunal which ordered the son to pay a monthly maintenance allowance of ₹10,000 to his father under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. “The court order was adhered to only for a few months after which Mr. Singh was again left in the lurch,” says Mothukuri Venkateswara Rao, State president of the association.

Ippala Kotireddy, at 80, was driven out of his own house by his daughter-in-law. Suffering from many ailment and a blurred vision, he was made to run from pillar to post in search of justice. The Tribunal ordered his family members to pay a sum of ₹2,000 every month, which never happened.

Major challenge

Non-adherence to the court verdict poses a major challenge to the welfare association. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to get the family members cough up the ‘maintenance’ amount to the victims,” confesses Mr. Venkateswara Rao.

He says the association plans to recommend arrests for non-compliance in a few serious cases so it serves as a deterrent to others. Citing another case of a Christian pastor, whose son moved the High Court, refusing to pay any ‘maintenance’ charges to his father, Mr. Venkateswara Rao said the former succumbed to the physical and mental pressures he was subjected to in his sunset years and died before the court verdict.

“The tragedy is that even wealthy families are neither willing to take care of their elders nor pay them maintenance,” says Mr. Venkateswara Rao, adding that loot and encroachment of their properties is yet another area of concern.

Citing more cases of their physical, mental and financial abuse, Mr. Rao said the association’s long-pending demand for a separate department or a Commisisonerate to deal exclusively with problems faced by senior citizens was not yet met.

In 2011, the State government framed ruled for implementation of the Maintenance Act but the district-level tribunals were yet to be constituted.

He urged the Jagan Mohan Reddy government to protect senior citizens from the atrocities heaped on them by their own family members.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 11:07:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/left-in-the-lurch-at-sunset-years/article28276825.ece

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