8 Rights Every Senior Citizen Must Know
The older generation has walked over this Earth before us and practically managed to make it civilized for the upcoming springs. If there is one thing via which you can stimulate the growth of a society it is by the grants and rights it provides to its elder citizen. Since ageing is a natural process, which leads to weakening of body and mind; the productivity and working ability decreases significantly. It is the duty of the state and family of the person to take care of him in his old age. However, due to rampant illiteracy and lack of awareness, many senior citizens are not able to enjoy the rights that the Constitution of India provides them under Articles 41 and 46 in the form of DPSP.
On Record, as per the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007, a senior citizen is one who is 60+. India has the second-highest elderly population marking it an “ageing country”. As elders should be more aware of their rights and perks, here are 8 rights and facilities available to the elderly on behalf of the state and also policies taken up by various ministries in view of DPSPs.
Travel Discount: Senior citizen can avail discounts on fares. In air travel, Air India provides Indian citizenship holder seniors, aged above 60 years, are eligible for a 60% discount on economic fare for domestic travel. In rail travel, men over the age of 60 and women above age 58 are eligible for 40% and 50% discount, respectively. Some state governments buses also provide concessions to senior citizen.
Maintenance: Under S.125 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) irrespective of the community one belongs to, parents can claim maintenance from their children (son and daughter including a married daughter). The children must have sufficient means to maintain and parents must lack them. A childless senior citizen can claim maintenance from any relative who possess his property or who would inherit it (under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007).
Lower tax: The government has provided relaxation in regards to tax laws; that senior citizen who has income up to Rs.3 lakh is non-taxable. For people aged above 80 years, income up to Rs. 5 lakh is non-taxable.
Free and speedy trials: As court cases can take years to result, Bombay High Court ruled in favour of preferential hearing for senior citizen of age 60 and above. Seniors only need to submit a request formally for the priority hearing.
Old age home: The Ministry of Justice and Empowerment has announced regarding the setting up of a National Council for Older Person, called age well Foundation. It will seek an opinion from seniors in order to provide measures to make life easier for them.
Special schemes: ‘Annapurna Yojana' was launched by A.P.J Abdul Kalam for the benefit of elderly persons. Under this, unattended aged persons are being given 10 kg of food every month. L.I.C has some schemes like Varishtha Pension Bima Yojna 2017 that will provide an assured pension to senior citizen based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% for 10 years.
Obtaining a passport: Government has eased up the process of issuing a passport for the senior citizens. Usually, police verification is needed prior to passport issuance but for senior citizen aged 65 or above the said verification can come after the issuance, if they just provide the verification of children,18 or above, living abroad.
Doorstep Banking: On the basis of complaints and suggestions, The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has guided banks to provide doorstep banking to senior citizens and differently-abled. They are also directed by RBI to accept senior customers at every branch of the respective banks.
The Indian government is trying to bring in budgets and bills to improve the condition of Senior Citizens in our country. It’s a long road but can only be achieved with perseverance and cooperation. Making laws is not just the solution till there is no awareness of the same and thus every citizen must be aware of their rights.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Akshita Dikshit is currently studying law from School of Law, UPES Dehradun.
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Edited by: Swati Tolambia
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