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Mera Jeevan Mery Sharteyn ( Hindi )

Mera Jeevan Mery Sharteyn ( Hindi ) By Sonia Gulani Translated by Anu Singh

मेरा जीवन मेरी शर्ते लेखिका सोनिआ गोलानी अनुवाद अनु सिंह

Audio Presention by: Palak Mehta, Priyanka Tanwar and Anant Alam

18 लीक से हटकर चलने के अद्भुत किस्से

 

राहुल अकेरकर ने अमेरिका से बोईकेमिकल इंजीनियरींग मई मास्टर की डिग्री ली लेकिन उनकी पहचान एक सेलिब्रिटी शेफ और मुंबई के बेहतरीन फाइन – डाइनिंग रेसतरा इंडिगो के मालिक के रूप में है |

मनोहर परिकर ने आईआईटी बॉम्बे में इंजीनियरिंग की लेकिंग सुर्खियों में गोवा के मुख्यमंत्री के तोर पर आये|

हर्षा भोगले ने आईआईएम अहमदाबाद से मैनेजमेंट की डिग्री ली, लेकिन उन्हें दुनिया के सबसे मशहूर क्रिकेट कमेंटटरो में से एक गिना जाता है |

रशिम उदय सिंह कभी इनकम टैक्स की डिप्टी कमिश्नर थी, लेकिन अब देश की सबसे मशहूर फ़ूड क्रिटीक मानी  जाती है

इन चार सच्ची कहानियो के आलावा 14 और लोगो की कहानिया इस किताब का हिंसा है| मेरा जीवन मेरी शर्ते लीक से हटकर चलने के 18 अद्भुत किस्से में हर शक्श ने प्रोफेशनल क्षेत्र मई अपने करियर को लेकर कोई न कोई प्रयोग किउए और उसमे सफल हुए | इन 18 लोगो ने यह साबित कर दिया की क़रीर या पढाई के ठीक बीचोबीच अपने दिल की आवाज़ सुनकर एक रास्ता अख्तियार कर लेना कोई बूरा ख्याल नहीं है |

 

इनमे से एक राहुल राम एन्वॉयरमेंटल टाकीज़कालॉज़ी में पीएचडी है लेकिन उन्होंने संगीत का रास्ता चुना और देश के सबसे मशहूर बैंड इंडिया ओसियन  का हिस्सा बने. आईआईएम कोलकाता के ग्रेजुएट ने अपने सफल कॉर्पोरेट करियर के बिच में तय किया की वे सिर्फ और सिर्फ लिखना चाहते है, अमिश के शिव रचनातरया – द इम्मोर्टल्स ऑफ़ मेलुहा, द  सीक्रेट ऑफ़ नागiस और द ओठ ऑफ़ वायुपुत्रास ने किताबो की दुनिया में नया इतिहास रचा | ठीक इसी तरह श्रीनाथ ने एडवरटाइजिंग में बना बनाया करियर छोड़कर एक NGO  के लिए काम करने का असाधारण फैसला लिया|

 


 

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Crimes against Women by our Honourable Law Makers!

 

Analysis of MPs/MLAs with Declared Cases Related to Crimes against Women

 

 

Dear friends,

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch have analyzed 4845 out of 4896 election affidavits of current MPs and MLAs. It includes 768 out of 776 affidavits of MPs and 4077 out of 4120 MLAs from all the states of India.

For complete report with details of IPC sections related to crimes against women declared by sitting Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha MPs and Members of Legislative Assemblies, please refer to:  https://adrindia.org/content/analysis-mpsmlas-declared-cases-related-crimes-against-women-1

Summary and Highlights

  • Out of 1580(33%) MPs/ MLAs analysed with declared criminal cases, 48 have declared cases related to crimes against women.

 

  • Among these 48 MPs/MLAs with declared cases related to Crimes s against women, 45 are MLAs and 3 are MPs.

 

  • 327 candidates analysed who had declared cases related to crimes against women, were given tickets by recognized political parties.

 

  • 118 independent candidates analysed with declared cases related to crimes against women had contested for Lok/Rajya and state assembles’ elections in last 5 years.

 

  • Among these candidates, 40 candidates were given tickets by parties for Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha elections. Various recognized parties have given tickets to 287 candidates with cases related to crimes against women for state assemblies’ elections.

 

  • In the last 5 years, 18 independent candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women contested in the Lok Sabha/ Rajya Elections. Similarly, 100 independent candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women contested in the state assemblies’ elections.

 

  • Among the states, Maharashtra has the highest number of MPs/ MLAs i.e. 12, followed by West Bengal with 11 , Odisha and Andhra Pradesh each with 5 MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related crimes against women.

·    Among the states in the last 5 years, Maharashtra has the highest number of candidates i.e. 65, followed by Bihar with 62 and West Bengal with 52 candidates who were given tickets by political parties even though they have declared cases related to crimes against women in their affidavits.

·  Among various recognized parties, BJP has the highest number of MPs/ MLAs i.e. 12, followed by SHS (Shiv Sena) with 7 and AITC (All India Trinamool Congress) with 6 MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related crimes against women.

  • Among the major parties in the last 5 years, 47 candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women were given tickets by BJP. The second highest number of candidates, i.e. 35 who had declared cases related to crimes against women were given tickets by BSP, followed by 24 candidates from INC who had declared cases related to crimes against women who had contested for Lok/Rajya Sabha and State Assemblies Elections in last 5 years.
  • Following are 3 MLAs who have declared have declared cases related to rape :
  • Gonuguntla Suryanarayana from TDP who has won from Dharmavaram constituency in Andhra Pradesh (2014)
  • Jethabhai G.Ahir from BJP who has won from Shehra constituency in Gujarat (2017)
  • Gulab Yadav from RJD who has won from Jhanjharpur constituency in Bihar(2015)
  • In the last 5 years, recognized parties have given tickets to 26 candidates who had declared cases related to rape.
  • In the last 5 years, 14 independent candidates with declared cases related to rape have contested for Lok/Rajya Sabha and State assemblies’ elections.

Recommendations of ADR

 

All major political parties give tickets to candidates with cases of crimes against women especially rape and therefore hindering the safety and dignity of women as citizens. These are serious cases where charges have been framed and cognizance have been taken by the courts. Hence, political parties have been in a way abetting to circumstances that lead to such events that they so easily but vehemently condemn in Parliament’. ADR and NEW strongly recommends that:

  • Candidates with a serious criminal background should be debarred from contesting elections.
  • Political parties should disclose the criteria on which candidates are given tickets.
  • Cases against MPs and MLAs should be fast tracked and decided upon in a time bound manner.

    Contact Details

     

    National Election Watch/Association for Democratic Reforms

     

    Media and Journalist Helpline

     

    +91 80103 94248

    Email: adr@adrindia.org

    Maj.Gen. Anil Verma (Retd)

    Head

    National Election Watch,

    Association for Democratic Reforms

    011 4165 4200,

    +91 88264 79910

    adr@adrIndia.org,

    anilverma@adrindia.org

    Prof Jagdeep Chhokar

    IIM Ahmedabad (Retd.)

    Founder Member,

    National Election Watch,

    Association for Democratic

    Reforms

    +91 99996 20944

    jchhokar@gmail.com

     

    Prof Trilochan Sastry

    IIM Bangalore

    Founder Member,

    National Election Watch,

    Association for Democratic Reforms

    +91 94483 53285

    trilochans@iimb.ernet.in

     

 

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Innovative Technologies for the Disabled Dominate PEC Open House.

PEC’s open house comes to a close

 

Amongst several categories of innovative projects in the Open House organised by the Punjab Engineering College, a deemed University; innovative technologies created by the young Engineers, stole the show.

The winners fell in three categories — Circuital Branches, Non-Circuital Branches and Technical Societies. Further, prizes under two special categories, ‘Research with larger impact’ and ‘Most innovative idea’, were also presented to the deserving teams.

Under circuital branches, ‘Braille Tablet’ made by Khuswant Rai, Esha Tandon, Simran Kaur and Garima Shukla secured the first position while ‘I-Vote’ and ‘Bone Conduction Hearing System’ secured the second and the third spots, respectively.

Under technical societies, ‘Gesture-controlled wheelchair’ made by Jatin Batra, Palak Jain, Ashmeet Jheetha, Aman Garg and Mukul Sahni secured the first position while ‘LiFi’ and ‘Robotic Arm’ secured second and third positions, respectively.

The project ‘Smart Shoe for blind’ won the prize under the ‘Research with larger impact’ category while ‘Smart Gate Controlling Reservoir System’ project secured the ‘Most Innovative Idea’ prize.

Braille tablet: The aim was to develop an alpha prototype of Braille tablet with a touch screen on the front side, provide Braille tactile on the opposite side of the tablet and voice command operation facility in it, thus helping people who are visually impaired to have an unlimited opportunity in their education personal productivity.

Gesture-controlled wheelchair: Its aim was to model a gesture-controlled wheelchair equipped with basic home automation applications vis-à-vis control of fans and lights as well as advanced features, including face detection-enabled security systems.

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Is Modi afraid of NGOs?

Why Narendra Modi shouldn't be afraid of NGOs

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sees enemies all around him, and non-governmental organisations or NGOs are high up on his list. Just a few days ago, at a farmers rally organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bargarh, Odisha, Modi said that NGOs were conspiring to defame him and bring down his government.

NGOs (like black marketers in the chemical fertiliser industry), he said, were robbing and destroying the nation and were “morning and evening conspiring to figure out how to finish Modi, how to remove Modi’s government, how to dishonour Modi”. The prime minister added that efforts aimed at forcing NGOs to account for the money they receive from abroad had turned them against his government.

Modi’s antipathy to non-governmental organisations is of long standing. A speech he made on the subject in 2006 sets out his view. Like many others he sees charitable work like feeding the poor, maintaining cow shelters, housing pilgrims, organising blood donation camps, as honourable social work. Registered NGOs are, however, “monkey traders” who jump from one issue to the next following the funding. He specifically singles out organisations receiving foreign funds as self-serving businesses in his 2006 speech:

“Funds are obtained from abroad, an NGO is set up: a few [media] articles are commissioned, a PR firm is recruited and slowly, with the help of the media, an image is created. And then awards are procured from foreign countries to enhance this image. Such a vicious cycle of finance – activity – award is set up and once they have secured an award, no one in Hindustan dares raise a finger no matter how many failings of the awardee”.

Tilting at NGOs

There are many who will agree with Modi that there must be better regulation of non-governmental organisations, that there are many that follow the money and even some that exercise disproportionate influence over government policy. But most will wonder why the prime minister of India is tilting at NGOs.

The foreign money NGOs receive is small change in an economy the size of India’s. Home ministry figures show that in the period 2011-’12, the total inflow of foreign funds to organisations registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act or FCRA was Rs 11,546.3 crore. More than half of this (approximately Rs 6,000 crore) was for religious organisations, two-thirds of which was spent on education, training and maintenance of priests, preachers and religious schools. Compare this to the Centre and states budgeted expenditure on just education for 2012-’13 which is Rs 4,03,236.5 crore.

Among the recipients of foreign funding are myriad non-governmental organisations affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the BJP’s ideological guide. With the BJP in power, these organisations exert considerable influence on government. While the prime minister talks of NGO conspiracies to do him in, the RSS systematically collects information about such organisations in areas in which it is active. At the moment, the Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad, the RSS body working with tribal communities, is conducting a survey of grassroots-level NGOs working in the tribal sub-plan areas of Rajasthan. The survey is designed to collect detailed information on whether these non-governmental organisations agree with the RSS view on key issues or not.

Like previous governments, this one too relies on NGOs to implement many of its social development programmes at the grassroots. A conservative estimate puts the government’s grants to the NGO sector at Rs 1,000 crore. In fact, NGOs are an acknowledged part of Modi’s pet projects like the Swachh Bharat programme. NGOs are also the go-to people for ideas and project implementation in most social-development related ministries.

But NGOs that irk the prime minister the most seem to be the ones acknowledged abroad as doing good work. This is curious given Modi’s own love for being feted in foreign countries. To help his case against these as-yet-unnamed NGOs, the prime minister has a handy Intelligence Bureau report that says exactly what he does. The report, a re-issued, slightly edited old bureau report on NGOs commissioned by the UPA government includes a verbatim extract from Modi’s 2006 speech on NGOs quoted earlier.

Seeking transparency?

Since the IB report was published, the government has cancelled the registration of nearly 10,000 NGOs under the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act 2010. NGOs like Greenpeace and funding bodies like Ford Foundation and Caritas have had restrictions placed on their functioning in India too. The government has also targeted human rights defenders, among them former additional solicitor general Indira Jaising’s Lawyers Collective.

The home ministry, which is the ministry responsible, said that its endeavour was “to bring in transparency and accountability while ensuring national security”. National security’s obverse is anti-national activity. The government has signalled that its definition of anti-national activity includes people’s dietary preferences, student protests, the demand for justice for victims of communal riots or anything that is critical of the government or outside the belief system of the Sangh Parivar.

As the Jat quota agitation unleashed violence in Haryana, and the periphery of Delhi, Modi was telling people in Odisha, “morning through night there is turmoil around me, some people are constantly trying to get at me.” The NGOs, he said, had “all got together saying ‘Modi ko maro, Modi ko maro’” (pull Modi down, pull Modi down).

When the prime minister singles out NGOs as the cause of his troubles, is he setting up straw men to knock down, or does his government’s persecution of those who disagree with it suggest something rather more calculated? Only time will tell.

https://scroll.in/article/804152/why-narendra-modi-shouldnt-be-afraid-of-ngos

 

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Women have always been considered second-class citizens: Priyanka Chopra

 

 

NEW DELHI: She is a woman who follows her heart and is an inspiration for other women. Priyanka Chopra, who is effortlessly straddling two worlds and is also a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, says women have always been considered second-class citizens globally and she would like to see a change in the mindset of those who devalue a girl child.

“We are living in an extremely patriarchal society, not just in India, but in the whole world. Women have always been second-class citizens. We have to fight to get opportunities, to become a leader (but) the one thing that I have seen is that now women are not willing to settle (for less) any more, and that’s the big difference,” Priyanka — a Bollwood star who has now made her mark in Hollywood — told IANS when asked to comment on the changes she has noticed among people towards women and the girl child in India.

“It’s not like the world is going to change in 10 years. Hopefully, I will see it in my lifetime. But if not, (it should change) for the next generation. That’s what I am hoping. I love the tenacity… of seeing women supporting each other, of women turning around and telling that ‘it’s wrong’.

“The fact is we are living in the era of social media, you are not alone. There’s good and bad in everything, but in this case, you are not alone and that is the biggest change. You see more men standing up for women and saying ‘that’s wrong’, but there is yet a lot of work to be done globally,” she added.

Priyanka was in the capital to attend the curtain-raiser of The Partners’ Forum, a platform for learning and exchange between countries and partners to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents.

It was hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and support of other partners.

Priyanka’s journey in showbiz started at the age of 17 when she was crowned Miss World. It was followed by her Bollywood debut in 2003 with “The Hero: Love Story of a Spy” and she later made headlines when she bagged the lead role in American show “Quantico”.

The year 2016 also saw her becoming a presenter at the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards ceremony, followed by an invitation to the annual White House Correspondents Dinner. She was conferred India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri, and featured in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the world.

Priyanka finds it wonderful how women have an innate ability to fulfill different roles.

“Women have the ability to take care, get married, have children and work at the same time. They make sure that the house is taken care of, but at the same time they go out and meet their dreams. All they need is someone to stand with them and say, ‘Yes, you can’, and that will come when families, husbands, fathers and mothers start teaching their children that it is going to be all right.

“Of course, women should settle down, men should settle down, have babies, but that shouldn’t be the end of a girl’s life. It should be the beginning. You should marry in a home that allows you to have wings and the parents need to make sure of that,” said Priyanka.

Girls need to be valued, stressed the actress who has made a name for herself internationally with the show “Quantico”.

“I have a lot of dreams. I don’t want any child to go to sleep hungry, but the big change I want to see is girl children should not be treated as a commodity… (used) just for reproduction. I want to see a change where we invest in our girls, where we treat them and give them the opportunity to have merit to prove themselves.

“At least we should give that chance to her. Devaluation of girls is something that I want to see change,” she said.

Priyanka is herself as invested in philanthropy as in her showbiz career as an actor and producer. But what is keeping her away from Bollywood films nowadays?

Laughing off the question, she said: “I will do it when I find the right script. It’s not like I am not working. I am shooting a TV film which has gone to 64 countries. I have produced seven films this year. I am working. And I will work (in a Bollywood film) when I find the right film to do.”

“I am not someone who will compromise or settle for less,” she signed off.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/entertainment/hindi/2018/apr/12/women-have-always-been-considered-second-class-citizens-priyanka-chopra-1800466.html

 

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Men’s NGO plea on marital rape!

 

An NGO’s plea in the seeking to make marital an offence was today opposed by another NGO, run by a group of men, which said that married women have been given adequate protection under the law against sexual by their husbands.

claimed that exception in Section 375 of the IPC, which says intercourse or a sexual act by a man with his is not rape, is “not unconstitutional” and setting it aside will create more injustice.

It was opposing the petitions filed by and the All Democratic Women’s Association, which have challenged the constitutionality of Section 375 (which defines rape) of the IPC on the ground that it discriminated against married women being sexually assaulted by their husbands.

A bench of Acting and Justice C posed various questions to the trust’s representatives, who were made intervenors in the matter, and asked whether their stand was that a husband has a right to perpetrate sexual offence on his and could he force sex on his spouse?

To this, NGO Men Welfare Trust’s representatives and replied in the negative and said there were existing provisions, including domestic law, harassment to married woman, unnatural sex, which provide adequate protection to a against sexual committed by the husband.

However, no such protection is given to husbands as laws in are gender specific, unlike in most parts of the world, they argued.

When said that by a husband and a third person cannot be put on a same pedestal, the bench shot back, saying “a is a Is it that if you are married, it is okay but if you are not, then it’s a If an uncle or grandfather sexually assaults a woman or a girl, it is covered under the offence of


The arguments remained inconclusive and will continue on April 16, the next date of hearing.

Earlier, Kolkata-based NGO Hridaya had also opposed the plea to make marital an offence, saying consent for physical relations is for all time when a person enters the institution of

The high court had earlier agreed to examine the issue raised in PILs by Karuna Nundy, who represented and the All Democratic Women’s Association, and a man and a woman, who have sought striking down the exception in the Indian that does not consider sexual intercourse with a wife, not less than 15 years of age, as

The petitions have also sought setting aside of the exception in the law that protects husbands, saying that it violates the right to equality, freedom and to live life with dignity provided under the Constitution.

The had said that quashing the protection husbands enjoy against prosecution for marital would lead to “creation of an offence”, which is a legislative job and courts cannot create or legislate an offence, which would be the inevitable outcome of striking down of the exception in the IPC.

The Centre has opposed the main petitions saying marital cannot be made a criminal offence as it could become a phenomenon which may destabilise the institution of and an easy tool for harassing the husbands.

 

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NGO Shakti Vahini’s success against Honour Killings!

SC rules against Khap Panchayats, 'Khaps can't interfere in marriages'
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday frowned on honour killings and ruled any attempt by informal institutions such as khap panchayats to end a marriage between consenting adults is illegal as it violates their fundamental right to choice and dignity. It ordered authorities to take steps to protect inter-caste and inter-religious couples from honour crimes.
“Assertion of choice is an insegregable facet of liberty and dignity. When the ability to choose is crushed in the name of class honour and the person’s physical frame is treated with absolute indignity, a chilling effect dominates over … the society at large,” a bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.
The court asked central and state governments to take preventive, remedial and punitive steps to deter khaps from taking the law into their own hands.They must provide protection to inter-caste and inter-religious couples.

The police chief in each district should oversee the safety of such couples and take the assistance of the court to make preventive arrests to save them from harassment, the court said. There should be dedicated courts to deal with honour crimes and 24-hour helplines for couples to seek assistance, the court said, while directing all states to file compliance reports within six weeks.

The ruling will hold till a law is passed on dealing with honour crimes. The top court was dealing with a public interest litigation filed by NGO Shakti Vahini, which drew its attention to honour crimes prevalent in several parts of the country. At least 288 such cases were reported from Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, Delhi, UP and Bihar and other states between 2014 and 2016, the NGO said.

Feudal perceptions such as clan, caste and honour have to melt into oblivion, the court said in its ruling. “…any kind of torture or torment or ill-treatment in the name of honour that tantamount to atrophy of choice of an individual relating to love and marriage by any assembly, whatsoever nomenclature it assumes, is illegal and cannot be allowed a moment of existence.”

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N.G.O Scans Heart of Punjab Police.

Punjab Inspector General of Police, Ms. Gurpreet Deo lead his team for a Heart Care Camp organised by NGO Disha – The Harbinger of Social Change & Development in collaboration with Kare Partners heart centre Chandigarh  at the Sector – 9 Police Headquarters. The Two – Day camp concluded here today.

 

Smt. Simrit Joshan, President and Smt. Lata Dua Secretary of Disha NGO along with the team of Doctors and Technicians from Heart Kare Partners including Gauravjit Singh operation head at  kare partners Dr. Ashootosh Bhardwaj, Dr. Gurpreet and Subash Dadwal with his team; conducted E.C.G and other blood tests of over 200 police personnel, during the two days of the camp.

 

The exercise was undertaken as a preventive measure to create awareness of proper care of heart diseases caused due to sedentary lifestyle and precautions to avoid chronic disorders. The good health of a policeman ensures efficiency and better services to the community.

 

Ms. Gurpreet Deo, IG hoped to extend such programs to the other establishments as well, all over the state.

 

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World Social Work Day Celebrated at Panjab University.

 

“Professional Social Workers’ primary role is to bring about Social Change”, said Dr. Sherry Sabbarawal, Chairperson of the Centre for Social Work, Panjab University, while Inaugurating and delivering a Keynote address on the World Social Work Day Celebrations, organised in collaboration with NGO Disha – The Harbinger of Social Change & Development at Panjab University today.

Dr. Monica Munjial presented the Historical perspective of Social Work in India. Smt. Simrit Joshan, president of Disha along with the Chief Guest felicitated the volunteers, donors and supporters, associated with NGO Disha, during the year in organizing various activities like Summer Camp for Children, Health Camps, Awareness Programs; Reading and Recording audio books for the blind; and providing a helping hand to the Disabled as support; were distributed Certificates of Appreciation on this occasion.

A large number of students from the Punjab Engineering College University, Research scholars, Post Graduation Students and Students of Indira Gandhi National Open University took active part in the knowledge sharing session on Professional Social Work and Philanthropy.

 

 

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Sons-in-law & Daughters-in-law also liable to maintain aged Parents!

A senior citizens’ group in Pune. India has 104 million people over the age of 60, according to the 2011 Census. Anecdotally, the number of instances of senior citizens being abandoned by their children is on an increase.

 

India is considering widening the definition of children and removing the cap on maintenance payable to senior citizens through proposed changes in a law on the welfare of senior citizens.

The ministry of social justice and empowerment has proposed doing away with the Rs 10,000 ceiling currently in place, and wants to link the amount to the sources of income of the senior citizens and their children, a government official familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

According to this person, the ministry has recommended widening the definition of children to include adopted or step children, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, grandchildren, even minors represented by their legal guardians. Currently, the term includes only sons, daughters, and grandchildren, excluding minors.

India has 104 million people over the age of 60, according to the 2011 Census. Anecdotally, the number of instances of senior citizens being abandoned by their children is on an increase, although the National Crime Records Bureau doesn’t track this.

The proposal will now be sent to the union cabinet for approval. It follows feedback from senior citizens and non-government organisations (NGOs) working with the disadvantaged elderly on the need to revisit the conditions for payment of the allowance under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007.

After the MWPSC was enacted in 2007, tribunals were constituted to enforce its provisions including payment of the maintenance allowance.

Senior citizens can file an application before these tribunals to claim maintenance and seek relief if their assets and immovable property are forcibly taken over by their children or other relatives.

Alongside widening the definition of children, the ministry of social justice and empowerment has suggested that any person (whether a child or a relative of a childless senior citizen), who has the means will have to look after the senior citizen or parent, even if they are not in possession of their property.

According to the official cited above, maintenance of such senior citizens has hitherto been the duty of children or other caretakers only if they were in possession of their property or were likely to inherit it.

“The definition of senior citizen itself has been clarified; those who have attained the age of 60 are senior citizens and will be eligible for all benefits meant for the category. This has been specified in the wake of complaints that some airline and insurance schemes were arbitrarily fixing the minimum age,” the official said.

Among the other suggestions made by the ministry are extending the right of appeal against a decision by the tribunal to the respondents. Earlier, only senior citizens could file an appeal against an order.

Commenting on the changes suggested by the ministry, Mathew Cherian, chief executive officer of the NGO HelpAge India said the government should first ensure implementation of the law and help spread awareness of its provisions.

“It has been 10 years since the law was passed, but there are lacunae in implementation. Even the posters or advertisements put out for awareness do not clearly explain the provisions of the Act to senior citizens,” Cherian said.

In January, HelpAge came out with a preliminary study conducted in Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Kerala based on 115 petitions filed by senior citizens with maintenance tribunals to show that only 57% of the cases filed, including complaints of abuse of elderly, neglect, forceful possession of property, had been settled while 33% were still pending. The report said repeated visits to the tribunals set up for dealing with these cases was cited as a problem by 42% of the respondents. An equal proportion complained of delays in hearings on the appointed dates.

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