GUWAHATI, Oct 2 – Mere declaration of the policies and enactment of some laws would not alone brighten the lots of the unfortunate sections of the elderly people of the country unless the policies and the laws are fully enforced and all those guilty of dereliction are severely punished.This observation was made by Renuka Devi Barkataky, former Union minister, while addressing the function held at Pensioners Bhawan on the occasion of the World Elders Day.
DN Chakravartty, president, Guwahati Senior Citizens’ Association (GSCA), presided over the function.
Barkataki, in her speech, dwelt at length on the feeble conditions of the elderly people belonging to the economically underprivileged sections. She urged the State Government to be more responsive towards the genuine grievances of the senior citizens.
KD Lahkar, an octogenarian and a former PWD Commissioner, in his speech, said that all the government departments in particular and society at large should be more friendly towards the needs and grievances of the physically and financially handicapped elderly people.
Writer Tabiul Hussain, Ramanikanta Deka, Hariprasad Chaliha, Bijuli Sarma, Abani Kumar Sarma, Dr Amiyo Mohan Das, Dr Kiran Sarma, Mridula Hazarika and PK Mahanta, while participating in the discussion, urged the State Government to declare immediately the State policy for senior citizens and to fully enforce the Maintenance of Parents and Welfare of Senior Citizens Act-2007 immediately.
Chakravartty, in his presidential speech, elaborated the five principles of the United Nations for the protection of the rights of the elderly people, and explained the detailed provisions of the National Policy for Older Persons.
Chakravartty also stressed the need for the elderly section of society to propagate the message of national solidarity against the challenges from secessionist and communal forces.