Kathmandu, March 14 (RSS): Cavalier attitude towards the implementation of the Senior Citizens Act-2006 BS has left many senior citizens bereft of their rights and entitlements ensured by the State, claims National Senior Citizens Federation.
Federation president Madandas Shrestha said that the government should take initiatives to protect the rights of the senior population and make sure of effective implementation of the provisions in the Act.
Shrestha bemoaned that drivers of public vehicles are reluctant to let senior citizens board the vehicles and to provide them discount up to 50 per cent on the fare although the government introduced a procedure for the same seven years after the Act.
According to him, grievances were rife among the senior citizens that the Act although mandates that the owner and drivers of the public transport have to reserve at least two seats for senior citizens and at least 50 per cent concession should be provided to them, bus owners and drivers are apathetic towards its implementation.
He shared that senior citizens often lament the lax implementation of the Act that states that it is the duty of all to provide necessary services, facilities and assistance to the senior citizens in public vehicles, health services, religious and public places.
Furthermore, senior citizens are entitled to 50 per cent discounts in the designated healthcare facilities. Article 41 of the constitution of Nepal states that senior citizens shall have the right to special protection and social security from the State. Women and Children Offices in all 77 districts have been providing identity cards to senior citizens for 6 years, according to the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens.
As the elderly people aged 70 and over are provided with senior citizens allowance, the Federation demands that government should also consider allowance for people aged above 60 years.
The census of 2011 puts the number of elderly 60 years and above at 2,154,003 which accounted for 8.1 per cent of the total population of the country.