A state is known for many more things than being known for its high rises, the number of companies that are operating over there and how well its residents are earning. These are important matters without a shadow of doubt, but then the services being provided to the common people in the state are also equally important. In any society, especially in a country like India, senior citizens are provided some economic benefits like pensions and tax benefits in certain cases but the question is, are these benefits enough for them? Do they really suffice in providing the quality of life that an old lady or man deserves after years of toil in the service of the community, and by extension the nation?
During 2013, the Senior Citizens Council of Haryana had asked for 50% concessions on buses that were being plied by Haryana Roadways. As of now, this facility was available to women but the men have pointed out, and if it may dare be said, rightly so that it was a discriminatory practice that had to be amended. They were also disgusted with the fact that the Maintenance of Parents Act 2007 had not been implemented till date even though it was passed and modified 6 years prior to that. Till that point in time there was not a single district in Haryana where a single tribunal regarding this had been set up.
They were also upset with the fact that the authorities had chosen to ignore their calls for help and not responded to them. During the same time Rao Narender Singh, the Health Minister for Haryana, had received a letter from the council regarding provision of cashless treatment for people who were being paid pension in the state. In recent times, senior citizens across the state have been experiencing long-term health related concerns. On a daily basis the situation is not too different.
That's why the Senior Citizens Council had asked the Health Minister to set up a CGH healthcare center along the lines of what has been done in the prime centers such as Faridabad and Gurgaon. The council had also stated that the authorities had decided not to use the funds and arrangements that had been provided for their upkeep and welfare, and termed their attitude as an irreverent and disturbing one.
They have also stated that in majority of the districts there are no special helplines, which can be used by elderly people to get in touch with the people in case they faced any issues or problems. More than the element of shame this is a matter of great worry because owing to their physical and socio-economic condition, these elderly people are often viewed by anti social elements as easy targets. It will always be better if they can be provided some mode of exclusive assistance just as women are being given.
One of the various problems plaguing this state is unequal development and the politicisation of the same. It is absolutely praiseworthy to have special benefits for senior ladies, but then men also deserve the same facility – gender discrimination in any shape or form is absolutely uncalled for. It is also shameful that proper health benefits are available at certain location only. An old individual is an old individual, irrespective of the geographical location, and they face the same issues and problems all over the world. Perhaps the state administration needs to keep this in mind as well.
Reference: Media reports