New Delhi, Mar 26 (UNI) The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has written a note to the Ministry of External Affairs on implementation of the Maintenance of Parents Act in respect of Indians who were living abroad but whose parents had been left back home here.
The Act passed by Parliament recently makes it mandatory for children to take care of their parents and provide for their financial and other needs. Parents will have the right to complain to a tribunal if they find their children not fulfilling their obligations under the Act.
An official of the Ministry of Social and Justice and Empowerment told UNI that the Ministry had written to states to enforce the Act as soon as possible, but in the case of children living abroad, it has to determine the modalities of implementation of the Act in consultation with the External Affairs Ministry.
The loneliness and neglect parents of NRIs face is an emerging problem in the society with large number of Indians going abroad for jobs.
The Act has been hailed as landmark law in a society which is going to add a large number of eledrly persons to its population. At present the number of people over 60 years of age was eight crore, which is projcted to go up to 17 crore in 2026.
So far, no state has implemented the Act. The Ministry officials said they would be needing some time to put up the infrastructure in place for implementing the law.
An elderly care law is already in force in Himachal Pradesh, which provided the inspiratioin for bringing out the central Act.
Under the Act, the Tribunal may make a maintenance order if it considers that it is just and equitable that the children should maintain their parents and that they are able to provide maintenance after his own requirements and those of their spouse and children.
The new law would take a parent as unable to maintain himself if his total or expected income and other financial resources are inadequate to provide him with basic amenities and basic physical needs including (but not limited to) shelter, food and clothing.
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