Empowering the Elderly: Assessing India's Legal framework and Policy Outlook for Older Persons

Authors

  • Animesh Pratap Singh Research Scholar, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow Author

Keywords:

Eldercare, Senior Citizen, Older Persons, Geriatric Healthcare, Financial Security, Dignity

Abstract

As society ages, ensuring the rights of older people becomes increasingly important. This article critically examines the legal framework governing the human rights of eldercare in India. There has been a shift in demography towards an ageing population worldwide, including in India. This shift underscores the pressing need for robust legal safeguards and protections for older people. This comprehensive analysis delves into the existing legislative and policy mechanisms designed to address the multifaceted challenges faced by older individuals in the country. The article commences by delineating the demographic landscape of ageing in India and highlighting the exponential growth of the population of older persons. It underscores the urgency of recognising and safeguarding the human rights of this vulnerable group. It also discusses the key international instrument for eldercare. Subsequently, the article reviews the key legal instruments, including “the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007”, and the “National Policy for Older Persons”, critically evaluating their efficacy in ensuring the rights and well-being of older people. It looks upon the implementation of these legal provisions, shedding light on the gaps and challenges in their enforcement. The primary objective of this article is to discuss the positives and weaknesses of the legal framework governing eldercare in India. In the end part, it offers recommendations to bolster the human rights of the elderly, ensuring their dignity, well-being, and meaningful inclusion in the socio-economic fabric of the nation.

References

Research Scholar, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow

Press release, NHRC takes suo motu cognizance of media reports on the death of an 80-year-old who had to walk due to non-availability of a wheelchair at the Mumbai airport, NHRC( Feb 20, 2024), https://nhrc.nic.in/media/press-release/nhrc-takes-suo-motu-cognizance-media-reports-death-80-year-old-who-had-walk-due

Section 2(h), The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, no. 56, Acts of Parliament 2007 (India).

Getting Started with Medicare, MEDICARE (2024), https://www.medicare.gov/basics/get-started-with-medicare.

Marie Jamet, The rise of elderly workers: The Europeans defying retirement norms and working past the age of 70, EURONEWS (Feb 22, 2023) https://www.euronews.com/next/2023/02/22/the-rise-of-elderly-workers-who-works-beyond-the-age-of-65-or-75-in-europe.

WILLIAM LITTLE, INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY 13.1 (BC Campus publications, 3rd ed)

World Population Clock, CENSUS.GOV (2024) https://www.census.gov/popclock/world

Hannah Peterson, India overtakes China to become world’s most populous country, THE GUARDIAN (April 24, 2023) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/apr/24/india-overtakes-china-to-become-worlds-most-populous-country

Abhinay Laxman, India ageing, elderly to make up 20% of population by 2050: UNFPA report, THE HINDU (Sep 27, 2023)https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/share-of-elderly-projected-to-double-to-20-by-2050-india-ageing-report/article67353547.ece

Garg, S., Bebarta, K. K., & Tripathi, N., Role of publicly funded health insurance in financial protection of the elderly from hospitalisation expenditure in India-findings from the longitudinal aging study. 22(1) BMC geriatrics, 572 (2022)

INDIA AGEING REPORT 2023, UNFPA 2023, https://india.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/20230926_

Ronald Lee, Cost of Aging, IMF (March, 2017) https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2017/03/lee.htm

Kang, H., & Kim, H. Ageism and Psychological Well-Being Among Older Adults: A Systematic Review. 8 GERONTOLOGY GME, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9008869/ (2022).

UNFPA, Supra note 10 at 56

NATIONAL POLICY FOR OLDER PERSONS, 1999, MINISTRY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, https://socialjustice.gov.in/writereaddata/UploadFile/National%20Policy%20for%20Older%20Persons%20Year%201999.pdf

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, 1948, UNGA( Resolution no. 217A), https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

C102 - SOCIAL SECURITY (MINIMUM STANDARDS) CONVENTION, 1952 (No. 102) ILO https://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_ILO_CODE:C102

Id. at Art. 25.

Id. Art 26.

UNITED NATIONS PRINCIPLES FOR OLDER PERSONS, 1991 ,UNGA, https://www.ohchr.org/en/instruments-mechanisms/instruments/united-nations-principles-older-persons.

United Nations Principles for Older Persons, OPCW (2024), https://olderpeople.wales/about/publication-scheme/our-policies/un-principles/

MADRID INTERNATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION ON AGEING IN 2002, UNGA https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/documents/ageing/MIPAA/political-declaration-en.pdf

Ibid at Art 5.

CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, 2006, UNGA (resolution A/RES/61/106) https://www.ohchr.org/en/instruments-mechanisms/instruments/convention-rights-persons-disabilities

Id. at Art 2.

National Policy for Older Persons, supra note 14.

Id. at 33.

Staff, Caring for the old: On the United Nations Population Fund’s India Ageing Report 2023, , THE HINDU( Sep 29, 2023) https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/caring-for-the-old-the-hindu-editorial-on-the-united-nations-population-funds-india-ageing-report-2023/article67357816.ece

National Policy for Older Persons, supra note 14 at 25.

Id. at 36

Id. at 19

Id. at 79

Staff, India Among Nations That Account for the Highest Prevalence of Ageism: WHO Report, THE WIRE (Mar 19, 2021) https://thewire.in/world/india-highest-prevalence-ageism-who-report-elderly-old-people.

PTI feed, Parliament should approve revised national policy on elderly: SC told, ECONOMIC TIMES( Jan, 22, 2017)https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/parliament-should-approve-revised-national-policy-on-elderly-sc-told/articleshow/56713407.cms?from=mdr.

Senior citizens in India hardly aware of their rights, says Agewell study, FINANCIAL EXPRESS (Dec 8, 2017) https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/senior-citizens-in-india-hardly-aware-of-their-rights-says-agewell-study/966520/ (

Paul, N. S., & Asirvatham, M. Geriatric Health Policy In India: The Need For Scaling-Up Implementation. 5(2), Journal Of Family Medicine And Primary Care, 242. (2016).

Senior Citizens Act, Supra note 2

Id at sec. 4

Id at sec. 7

Id. At sec 23

Charanjit Singh Ahluwalia vs Union of India, W.P.(C) 12076 of 2022 (Delhi HC, India)

Id at sec. 24

Staff, Decide cases on senior citizen Act within 1 month: Delhi HC to tribunal, THE HINDU (May 20, 2023 https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/decide-cases-on-senior-citizen-act-within-1-month-delhi-hc-to-tribunal/article66870717.ece (last visited on Oct 13, 2023).

M. Mandhana, Protection of senior citizens’ rights: awareness is the first step, THE HINDU, (July 13, 2014) https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/protection-of-senior-citizens-rights-awareness-is-the-first-step/article6263232.ece.

Ashwani Kumar vs UOI, Writ Petition (C) No. 193 OF 2016 (India)

Court on its own motion v. GNCTD, No. 751, (Delhi HC, India)

Senior Citizens Act, Supra note 2 at section 7.

Id. at Section 5(4).

Kirti Dua, The Maintenance And Welfare Of Parents And Senior Citizens Act, 2007: A Sword That Needs Sharpening? LIVELAW, (March 9, 2024) https://www.livelaw.in/law-firms/law-firm-articles-/the-maintenance-and-welfare-of-parents-and-senior-citizens-act-ang-partners-251685

Srijan Rai, India needs a new policy for the elderly, LIVEMINT (July 24, 2023) https://www.livemint.com/opinion/first-person/india-urgently-needs-a-new-policy-for-the-elderly-11690176975727.html

Aji Dev, GST on Old Age Homes & Senior Citizen Services, TAXGURU (July 28, 2023) https://taxguru.in/goods-and-service-tax/modified-article-gst-age-homes.html

Dhairya Gajara, Mumbai: Ahead Of Lok Sabha Polls, Elderlies Demand Implementation Of National Policy On Senior Citizens, Threaten To Press NOTA, FREE PRESS JOURNAL (Mar 22, 2024) https://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/mumbai-ahead-of-lok-sabha-polls-elderlies-demand-implementation-of-national-policy-on-senior-citizens-threaten-to-press-nota

Prashant Tripathy, How pension plans can ensure financial security in old age, FINANCIAL EXPRESS (Dec 23, 2022) https://www.financialexpress.com/money/your-money-how-pension-plans-can-ensure-financial-security-in-old-age-2914922/

Amit Sethi, How Crucial Is Financial Literacy For Senior Citizens? OUTLOOK (July 26, 2023) https://retirement.outlookindia.com/plan/financial-planning/how-crucial-is-financial-literacy-for-senior-citizens

Neetu Sharma, A robust ecosystem for seniors is the need of the hour, LIVEMINT (April 24, 2021) https://www.livemint.com/news/india/building-a-robust-ecosystem-for-seniors-is-the-need-of-the-hour-11619259438453.html (last visited on Oct 13, 2023).

Making age friendly infrastructure, 2018, WHO https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/agefriendlycities.pdf

Downloads

Published

2024-07-01

How to Cite

Empowering the Elderly: Assessing India’s Legal framework and Policy Outlook for Older Persons. (2024). GLS KALP: Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 4(3), 24-35. https://www.glskalp.in/index.php/GLSKALP/article/view/72