Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Maharashtra State Policy for Senior Citizens, 2013.

M.V.Ruparelia, Chief Patron, All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISCCON).
A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (East) Dist. Thane. 401107. M. 09821732855. E/Mail: To                                                                                                     Date: 11-12-13.
Shri Suresh Kakaniji, Municipal Commissioner,
 Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation, Chhatrapati Shivaji Road, Bhayander (West)-401101.
Dear Sir,
Sub: Maharashtra State Policy for Senior Citizens, 2013.
We are very much thankful to MBMC to give us 2 Community Halls, one at Mira Road and another at Bhayander and notifying the Policy for providing such Day Care Centres. We shall be obliged, if some Physiotherapy Centres are also set up in various places, as majority of Senior Citizens are suffering from orthopedic ailments. In this connection, we invite your attention to Integrated Programme for Older Persons, 2008 (IPOP) notified by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in which that Ministry gives lavish grants to Municipalities for recurring & non-recurring grants to the extent of 90% of expenditure for 16 very useful schemes for Senior Citizens. Major portion of such Grants allotted to Maharashtra States get lapsed due to non-utilization. Copy of this Scheme was given thrice by us to MBMC and meetings were also arranged with Shri Sambhaji Panpate & Deepak Khambit but no scheme is provided by MBMC even after constant chasing for last 4 years. Kindly, get these funds and provide us with some useful schemes under this Programme.
As you may be aware, State of Maharashtra has now notified the State Policy for Older Persons on 30-9-13 and more than 2 ½ months has passed. According to this Policy, MBMC has to take action on the following provisions by providing sufficient funds and initiating action now onwards:
i)                Develop concept of Aged-Friendly City for Mira-Bhayander areas to enable older persons to lead tolerable life by providing Day Care, Dementia, Physiotherapy, Recreational Centres, concessional transport, providing more parks, arranging variety entertainment programmes often, concessional entrance to cinema halls, celebrating International Day on 1st October in befitting way for a week, free libraries etc.
ii)              Provide Warden Scheme effectively for safety of older persons by maintaining list of Senior Citizens through Census Department with coordination with Police. Provide protection of older persons from any type of harassments or exploitation at various levels of the Society.
iii)            Appeal to all Doctors practicing privately in Mira-Bhayander area to charge concessional medical fees to older persons and Chemists to give concession in medicines. Special Health Programmes for older persons should be promoted by liason with Public & Private Hospitals.
iv)             To set up Counseling Centres for aged persons, regular health checkups. Planning and monitoring and taking care of health, effective stress management for older persons.
v)               Establish ``Senior Citizen Section`` in your Office bringing all schemes for benefit of older persons by Central, State & Local Agencies under one Umbrella to monitor benefits being given in time by all agencies in Mira-Bhayander. Establish ``Senior Citizens Welfare Fund``.
vi)             Ensure that all Corporate Establishments in Mira-Bhayander spend 10% of their CSR funds for older persons.
vii)           Able older persons should be assisted for part time jobs and help them to get micro finance etc
viii)         To develop guidelines for amenities to be given for older persons in all Housing, Commercial Projects and other Complexes.
ix)             Giving training to older persons to enable them to lead productive & positive life.
x)               To publish the list of children, who do not take care of their parents.
xi)             To establish Committee to oversee and suggest all welfare activities for Senior Citizens with higher level officers of MBMC & representatives of Senior Citizens.
Kindly make your Officers and Nagar Sevaks aware of all provisions of State Policy and work towards welfare of Senior Citizens of Mira-Bhayander by taking effective steps to improve the quality of life of all Elders, strengthen their legitimate place in society and help them to live their last spell of life with purpose, dignity and peace. Everyone has to retire and then every individual should have chances and opportunities to lead an active, creative, productive and satisfying life.
Thanking You,
Yours Sincerely,
Copy to M/s  Caitlin Pereira, Mayor, Shri Sambhaji Panpate, Deepak Khambit.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13 not admitted even after 8 months and now returned wrongly by your Dy Registrar Shri K L Das under his no. 123663 dtd. 3-4-13 dt 11-11-13 received on 9-12-13. (Almost 1 month-Most of the communications from this Registry are received very late-even date of hearing notices also).

M.V.Ruparelia, Chief Patron, All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISCCON). A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (E). District Thane, Maharashtra. 401 107.   M.09821732855. E/Mail:
To                                                               Date: 10-12-13.
Shri M.L.Sharma, Information Commissioner,                               
The Central Information Commission (Right To Information Act, 2005),
Government of India, IInd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi-110 066.
Sub: IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13 not admitted even after 8 months and now returned wrongly by your Dy Registrar Shri K L Das under his no. 123663 dtd. 3-4-13 dt 11-11-13 received on 9-12-13. (Almost 1 month-Most of the communications from this Registry are received very late-even date of hearing notices also).
1.Your Dy Registrar has returned IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13 after more than 8 months on the plea that we have not submitted tickmarked documents. He has tickmarked items i to iv and vi in his letter. Documents at i, iii & vi duly authenticated & verified are available in IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13 as have been returned by him with this letter!! It has been very clearly mentioned by us in IInd Appeal returned by him that no reply is given by CPIO and AA to Application & Appeal. In view of no reply from CPIO & AA, we can not manufacture documents for ii and iv demanded by him. For v, we have not relied on any other documents and as such no other document is attached to IInd Appeal. He has returned IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13 in terms of Rules 8 & 9 of Notification dt 31-7-12 without mentioning the reference number of Notification.
2.Rule 10 of Notification no. G.S.R.-603(E) dt 31-7-12  in Gazette of India - Process of Appeal- reads as under:-
2) The Commission shall not consider an appeal unless it is satisfied that the appellant has availed of all the remedies available to him under the Act.
(3) For the purposes of sub-rule (2), a person shall be deemed to have availed of all the remedies available to him under the Act:
(a) if he had filed an appeal before the First Appellate Authority and the First Appellate Authority or any other person competent to pass order on such appeal had made a final order on the appeal; or
(b) where no final order has been made by the First Appellate Authority with regard to the appeal preferred, and a period of forty five days from the date on which such appeal was preferred has elapsed.

As we have availed of all the remedies available to us, this IInd Appeal is required to be processed and can not be rejected and returned in this fashion and under this argument, though CIC has all rights to reject all appeals.

3.We enclose letter no. M-11011/06/2011-P&C (AR) dt 15-5-13 received in reply to IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13, which does not give the information requested in Application dt 18-9-12 about date of receipt of our letter dt 1-8-12 to Hon. Minister, notings thereon and reply to that letter and whether it was put up to Hon Minister etc. We enclose our reply dt 19-5-13 to their letter dt 15-5-13 followed by reminders dt 10-7-13 & 28-11-13 to which no reply is received till date. Letter to Minister may please be seen. It contains many issues for welfare of Senior Citizens of the Country for which this Ministry is required to take action by preparing Five Year & Annual Action Plans etc in terms of para 93 of National Policy, 99, which they have denied in their letter dt 15-5-13 and has desired that this may be taken up with Ministry of Social Justice.

4.In this connection, it is pointed out that under RTI Act, 2005, as per directive in para 3.3.1 of Ministry of Personnel under their letter no. 1/6/2011-IR dt 15-4-13, each Ministry and each Public Authority have to disclose suo motu under Sec 4 of RTI Act, 2005 all schemes and development programmes, which they are required to implement directly or through others as per Allocation of Business Rules (AOB), specific operations required to implement them linking to specific decision-making chain etc within 6 months of the issue of these directives. More than 8 months have passed after 15-4-13. According to AOB, Ministry of Social Justice is allotted the work of welfare of senior citizens as a Nodal Ministry with clear indication in the Note that: `` The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment shall be the nodal Department for the overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for the development of the groups mentioned at (i) to (iv) above, and the welfare of the group at (v) above. However, overall management and monitoring etc. of the sectoral programmes in respect of these groups shall be the responsibility of the concerned Central Ministries, State Governments and Union territory Administrations. Each Central Ministry or Department shall discharge nodal responsibility concerning its sector.`` Para 93 of the National Policy, 99 also directs each Ministry to implement the aspects concerning them by preparing Five Year and Annual Action Plan with targets. It has been provided in its Mandate and Policy Statement & other paras to take effective steps to improve the quality of life of all Elders, strengthen their legitimate place in society and help them to live their last spell of life with purpose, dignity and peace. CIC had also ruled as under in earlier case no. 2701/IC/(A)/2008-CIC/MA/A/2008/00645 ON 27-6-08(on CIC Web Site):-

``The Respondents has adopted a National Policy which has not been effectively implemented. The Senior Citizens are, therefore, deprived of the benefits assured to them. The Respondent is, therefore, directed to clearly outline the Plan of Action and indicate its outcome for the larger benefits of Older Persons and the Society.``

 5.The Ministry of Panchayati Raj is the apex authority of Government of India at the national level to formulate policies, sponsor and support programme, coordinate the activities of various Central Ministries, State Governments and other nodal authorities and monitor the programmes concerning various issues of 12 crore Elders of the Country (10% of total population, 13% of electorate and 21% of effective voters) pertaining to this Ministry. This Ministry has to prepare a detailed Scheme, Five Year & Annual Action Plan for all items pertaining to them, issue instructions to all concerned in States/UTs etc, give them targets, chase them continuously and get their items implemented. Ministry of Social Justice can not correspond with all State/UT ministries of Panchayati Raj for subjects pertaining to their Ministry and as per AOB, it is clearly for Ministry of Panchayati Raj to issue necessary directives to all their counterpart ministries of States/UTs and get all provisions of National Policy, 99; Integrated Programmes for Older Persons (IPOP) under para 47 of NPOP, 99; Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and National Programme of Health Care of Elders by Health Ministry to the extent pertaining to their subordinate offices.
As no action was taken by this Ministry for 14 years even after notification of National Policy, 99 depriving 12 crore elders of the Country of benefits pertaining to this Ministry, we brought this position to the notice of Hon Minister in our representations dt 1-8-12. As per various directives from DOPT, all representations to Ministers & Departments from Citizens are required to be examined by competent authority and replied within a month. Representations from Senior Citizens are to be given preference. In this case, we had sent a detailed representation to Hon. Minister about action to be taken on various provisions of NPOP, 99. As no reply was received, we had to resort to RTI Application, as non-reply is a short coming of working of the Public Authority and one of the aims of RTI is to streamline the working of such Public Authorities.

6.You, being one of Us- a senior citizen and in charge of CIC Office, we request you to consider the above aspects and fix the date of Hearing early and direct the Ministry of Panchayati Raj to take immediate action on all aspects brought out above. It will not be out of place to request you to bring the provisions of Mandate & Policy Statement of National Policy, 99 to the notice of all ICs/CIC and all staff once for all for improving the work of CIC Office, which is created for helping citizens but which does not help Elders of the Country in true spirit but delays implementation of National Policy, 99 by hurriedly closing cases under pretext of heavy work created due to unsystematic working at many stages and playing with words to close IInd Appeals.

Thanking You,

Yours Sincerely,
Copy to Shri Maha Bir Prasad, Director, Ministry for Panchayati Raj & Tribal Affairs,
Government of India, Sardar Patel Bhawan, New Delhi 110001 for immediate necessary action.
Copy to Shri T.R.Meena, Bureau in Charge of Senior Citizens, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, Shastri Bhawan, A Wing, Dr Rajendra Prasad Road,  New Delhi-110101 for necessary action.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Up-dating of Central Information Commission (Appeal Procedure), 2012- GSR 603(E) dt 31-7-12 & other important Procedure Orders.

To                                                                               Date: 9-12-13.
Shri V. Narayanasamy, Hon Minister of State, Ministry of Personnel, P.G. & Pension,

North Block, New Delhi.110001.
Sub: Up-dating of Central Information Commission (Appeal Procedure), 2012- GSR 603(E) dt 31-7-12 & other important Procedure Orders.
Ref: Our representation dt 12-7-13 to you not replied yet, though followed by RTI Application dt 9-9-13, 1st Appeal dt 22-10-13 and IInd Appeal dt 9-12-13.
We are very much thankful to Ministry of Personnel for expanding and elaborating the scope of Suo Motu Disclosures under Sec 4 of RTI Act through Secretary`s D.O. no.1/6/2011-IR dt 15-4-13 & 21-11-13. We are also grateful for up-dating Guide on RTI Act, 2005 under no. 1/32/2013-IR dt 28-11-13. We request that Right to Information Rules, 2012 notified under GSR 603 (E) dt 31-7-12 in Gazette of India may also be updated very early, as Citizens are facing various difficulties in dealing with CIC, as brought out in our representation dt 12-7-13 to you, Our Representation dt 21-5-12 to President of India and other representations dt 30-8-12, 5-9-12 etc. The difficulties caused in following respects of existing Rules, 2012 dt 31-7-12 are again brought out for early action:-
i)                Rule 3: Application Fee: Though Fee is prescribed for Application only under sub-section (1) of Sec 6, Fee for Complaints under Sec 18 is being asked by CPIO of CIC and States. (e.g. CIC`s no.CIC/CPIO/Misc/2013/153690 dt 31-7-13). Kindly, amplify and clarify this Rule for Fee for Complaints.
ii)              Rule 6: Mode of Payment of Fee:  Provision for payment of fee through nominated Post Offices under Role of Department of Post Offices as per instructions from Prime Minister are not included in this Rule. CPIO of CIC is rejecting applications sent through nominated post offices with Fee paid to Post Office. (e.g. CIC/CPIO/2011/1953 DT 2-11-11).
iii)            Rule 7:Appointment of Secretary: No duties of Secretary and other Registrars are laid down. After declaring RTI-CIC (Management Regulations), 2007 dt 13-6-07 by Court as null & void, it is necessary to incorporate such Management Regulation Rules in this.
iv)             Rule 10: Process of Appeal: 3(b): In cases of IInd Appeals, where AA has not passed orders, CIC asks AA to give orders and asks Appellant to send IInd Appeal afresh, if not satisfied with AA`s orders instead of calling AA for hearing and/or dealing with same IInd Appeal papers, resulting in unnecessary expenses to Appellants of getting 4 copies of large number of papers typed/zeroxed etc, 2 copies for CIC, 1 for CPIO & 1 for AA!
v)               Rule 11: Procedure for deciding Appeals: In many cases, ICs do not examine papers submitted by Appellants in IInd Appeals and Rejoinders and do not give opportunity to be heard to Appellants through phone and give Speaking Orders based on information given by ACPIO/Representatives of PA during hearing. This can be verified by DOPT by simple reading of CIC`s decisions in their Web Site. Rule must be amplified to lay down that IC/CIC must discuss view points of both parties in detail in Speaking Orders invariably and give reasons for arriving at his conclusion. It must also be laid down to indicate whether rejoinder was received and examined. We have given examples of several cases in which papers were not examined in our previous representations and can give still more examples of careless dealings without keeping in view even rules of Natural Justice, if required!
vi)             Rule 12(2): Presence of Appellant: In many cases, Video Conferencing Centres are also 20-25 miles away and it is not physically possible for disabled/handicapped citizens and Senior Citizens of 75+ to go to such Centres. Many IC/CIC are permitting Phone Representation but some do not give this facility and do not record reasons in Speaking Orders for denying this. They are in hurry to close the cases!! Proper provision of giving opportunity to be heard on phone in deserving cases may please be provided. Many a times, 7 days clear notice for Hearing does not reach to the Appellant. If he speaks on phone or sends E/Mail for giving opportunity to be heard on phone, it should be recorded by Registrar on file and also mentioned in Speaking Orders, if rejected. Not only, Applications/Appeals sent by E/Mail are not dealt with without hard copy and that may be rightly but all communications through E/Mails are ignored, which is not correct.
vii)           Rule 15: Orders of the Commission: Orders are treated as final, even if completely defective and without examining view point of Appellant as given in IInd Appeal & Rejoinders and no Review Petition lies and Appellant is asked to go to High Court for reviewing incorrect and against Natural Justice Speaking Orders!! Proper Review Petitions must be provided in these Rules. No replies are given to representations to CIC for such defective Speaking Orders in terms of para 66 & 67 of Office Manual. Large number of cases can be produced before your Ministry, if required, though some are already reported.
viii)         As per Notification no.CIC/Legal/2007/006 dt 13-2-08 and minutes of meeting held by CIC on 13-12-11, it was notified for the information of general public that the Appeals and Complaints filed by senior citizens shall be taken up by the Commission on priority basis and norms & procedure for according priority to Appellants in Hearing Appeals/Complaints filed before the Commission were decided in minutes dt 13-12-11. Appeals/Complaints from senior citizens and differently abled persons were to be put up to the Bench of the Commission where such cases are registered. This is not being done for last 5 years and not a single case of senior citizen is given any preference, inspite of showing by Appellants on top of each Appeal/Complaint that preference is to be given in terms of CIC orders and age is indicated and proof of age is given. Wrong information is being given by your Ministry to MPs for Parliamentary Questions that preference is being given, when there is not a single case of preference given for last 5 years and no record is maintained for this. This is serious and may be looked into for laying down proper instructions.
ix)             On cancellation of RTI-CIC (Management Regulations), 2007 by Court, it is necessary that various Rules in those Regulations are brought in these Rules, 2012. According to Rule 4(xv) of cancelled notification, Registrars were responsible to ensure compliance of decisions of IC/CIC. This responsibility is now refused by Registrars. Examples can be produced, if required. Proper provision may please be made in these Rules.
x)               As per Rule 15-Personal Presence of Appellant, if Appellant is prevented from being heard, second opportunity is to be given before final decision is given. This is not followed. Many examples can be produced. Proper detailed provision for this may be made in these Rules.
xi)             As per Rule 23 (2)-Finality of Decision, Special Review Appeal is laid down. On cancellation of entire Regulations from legal point of view by Court, this opportunity of Review petition is denied in each case!! This is too much!! Many examples have been brought to your Ministry`s notice and still more can be produced. Proper provision may please be made in these Rules for review.
xii)           As the main Aim of RTI Act is to promote transparency & accountability in the working of all Public Authority and streamlining their working, please provide proper guidelines in these Rules that CPIO & AAs will ensure that all lacunas came or brought to their notice through dealing with Applications & Appeals are set right by bringing to the notice of concerned competent authorities of their organizations. Examples: a) All prescribed columns are not filled in Status Position of Letters, Appeals, Complaints etc in CIC Web Site. Date given by Citizens for their letters, appeals etc are not shown, resulting in difficulties to locate. B) Appeals & Complaints are not admitted and shown in Status Position for months together. c) Non-compliance cases are not chased even after 10-15 reminders. d) No preference is given to Appeals & representations of Senior Citizens. e) Large number of letters, appeals, complaints sent by registered posts are not recorded/shown in status Position with dates given by citizens.
We shall be grateful, if these important aspects are got examined and remedial action taken, giving reply to us in terms of Para 66-67 of Office Manual.
Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Help for pursuing our demands with President & PM.

M.V.Ruparelia, Chief Patron, All India Senior Citizens Cofederation (AISCCON). A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (East) Dist. Thane. 401107. M. 09821732855.
To                                                           Date: 3-12-13.
 Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs,
North Block, New Delhi-110001.
Sub: Representation from Senior Citizens about help required from various Ministries under Government of India for 12 crore Elders of the Country.
Ref: Your office letter no. 20011/125/2013-Coord.II dt 14-11-13 and our representation dt 21-11-13.
Our representation dt 21-11-13 is turned down by your U.S. through his E/Mail, stating that this matter does not pertain to Home Ministry. We shall be highly obliged, if you advise as to whom should we approach for this general difficulty of 12 crore elders of the Country, as brought out in our representation dt 21-11-13. In continuation of our representation dt 21-11-13, we bring out the following factual position for examining and advising us to whom should we approach.
For last several years, we are representing our grievances of non-implementation of National Policy, 99 by Central Ministries, States & UTs to President & Prime Minister for helping us by getting various provisions of Policy implemented. Both had been forwarding our representations to Ministry Of Social Justice. This time, our representations have been sent to Home Ministry for needful. Central Ministries and States/UTs can not be dictated/tackled by Ministry of Social Justice. We will give you only one recent example. Nodal Ministry issued following directives for celebrating International Day of Older Persons in befitting manner well in advance but no Central Ministry and Corporate Sector undertakings and almost majority of States/UTs did not celebrate this day/week in 2013!! Such instructions are repeated every year for last several years at highest level!

Sr No
Directive no.
From Whom
To Whom

DO no. 15-39(57)/12-13/AGII(Pt 1)
Kumari Selja, Hon. Minister
All Chief Ministers  by name.
To observe this day in befitting manner up to Block Level with full involvement of various departments, Municipalities, Panchayats, NGOs etc

Same DO no.
Sudhir Bhargav,Secretary
Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs by name
Observe Senior Citizen Week from 1-10 to 7-10-13 as per list of 18 items enclosed

Same DO no.
T R Meena, Jt Secretary
All Chief Secretaries
Celebrate and send 2 recommendations for Vayoshreshtha Awards
Same DO no.
M H Gavit, State Minister
All State /UT Ministers
Celebrate for whole week and give wide publicity to programmes

Same DO no.
Shyam Kapoor,Jt Secretary
By name to all Heads of Commercial Fedrations
Celebrate for whole Week as part of CSR

Same DO no.
Kumari Selja, Hon Minister
All Chief Ministers by name
Celebrate for whole week as per 18 items enclosed involving all State Agencies, Local Bodies, Departments, Schools, Colleges, NGOs etc

It is observed that Maharashtra State and most of other States/UTs did not celebrate this International Day at any level for all these years and no Central Ministry or Corporate Sector ever celebrates this International Day inspite of such repeated instructions!! Anti-authority tendency is perhaps developed, which requires to be curbed by Home Ministry in charge of maintaining peace and harmony in the Country.
In addition to Allocation Rules for Business, Para 93 of National Policy, 99 etc, each Public Authority is required to disclose suo motu in their Web Sites all entitlements to citizens, decision making processes, specific set of schemes & development programmes required to be implemented by them directly or through their subordinate offices, linking every operation mandated under Allocation of Business Rules (AOB) & Transaction of Business Rules (TOB) to a specific decision-making chain. As all Central & State/UT Ministries have to work sincerely to provide various facilities as laid down in Mandate, Policy Statement and various provisions pertaining to them and to take effective steps to improve the quality of life of all Elders, strengthen their legitimate place in society and help them to live their last spell of life with purpose, dignity and peace, it is necessary that some competent Ministry like Home Ministry should take suitable action. In view of para 6 of our representation dt 21-11-13, we were very hopeful that Home Ministry, in view of their Vision and Allocation of Business Rules for maintaining social harmony, provide timely justice and uphold the principles of human rights, will go out of way and help Elders of the Country by initiating Special Drive through Special Directives and holding Special Meetings with Central & State Chief Secretaries for early implementation of National Policies declared by Government before many years. We again request Home Ministry to help their 12 crore Elders.
Thanking You,
Yours Sincerely,

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ruparelia`s Blog: Grievances of Senior Citizens of Maharashtra.

Ruparelia`s Blog: Grievances of Senior Citizens of Maharashtra.: "To Date: 22-8-10. Shri Raosaheb Pati..."

Ruparelia`s Blog: Grievances of Senior Citizens of Maharashtra.

Ruparelia`s Blog: Grievances of Senior Citizens of Maharashtra.: "To Date: 22-8-10. Shri Raosaheb Pati..."

Welfare of Senior Citizens of Mumbai & Maharashtra.

To                                                              Date: 23-5-11.
Shri Sachin Ahir, Hon State Minister of Housing & Social Justice-Welfare of Senior Citizens,
Government of Maharashtra, Mantralaya, Mumbai- 400032. 
Respected Sir,
Sub: Welfare of Senior Citizens of Mumbai & Maharashtra.
We, the Senior Citizens of Mumbai & Maharashtra, are very happy to observe that you are taking lot of interest & pains to work for welfare of your Elders. We would be obliged, if you kindly get the instructions/GRs etc, as necessary issued on the following long neglected subjects without waiting for finalization/acceptance/notification of State Policy for Senior Citizens, as 12 years have passed in waiting for Policy and the instructions on these subjects do not require notification of Policy by State.  Maharashtra State Policy for Older Persons, 2004-Part-1 authorises and expects the State to issue orders on these subjects.
1.      Celebrating International Day of Older Persons (IDOP):  It is observed that this Day is neither observed by State nor by Panchayati Raj & Municipal Bodies in Maharashtra inspite of repeated instructions from Nodal Ministry every year. It has been advised by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, New Delhi in reply to my recent Application under RTI that this year also, they had issued instructions under their directive under no. 15-39 (12)/09-10/AGII dt 3-9-10 that these programmes should be organized with active involvement of Sr citizens, Panchayati Raj & Municipal Bodies etc. On enquiries from BMC & MBMC, it is given to understand that they are having no specific instructions from your side.  Kindly issue proper detailed instructions to all concerned including all your departments and local bodies to celebrate this International Day to respect Elders of Maharashtra without waiting for notification of State Policy and  instructions may be repeated every year sufficiently advance. Similar instructions for celebrating ``World Awareness Day of Abuse of Older Persons`` on 15th June may also be issued. These celebrations will create proper atmosphere of Respect for Elders in the Society.

2.      Vayoshestha Sanmans:  Nodal Ministry has given a list of 10 Sanmans given by them every year, which they give in celebration of IDOP. Our State should also give similar Sanmans at State/District/Panchayat-Municipal levels.

3.      Integrated Programmes for Older Persons (IPOP)- Revised Scheme effective from 1-4-2008: Nodal Ministry has advised that as against National Allocation  to Maharashtra for this purpose in year 2008-09 of Rs 150 lakhs, only Rs 49.92 and against NA for 2009-10 of Rs 75 lakhs, only Rs 47.07 were released as per State Demand.  Para 6 of the Revised Scheme has made Panchayati Raj Institutions & Local Bodies as main implementing Agencies. No instructions having been issued to these agencies, BMC & MBMT are refusing to take action and insist on State Instructions. Kindly make out a time bound programme for each Panchayat & Municipal Units to provide these schemes in each ward within a year or two, as 90% of recurring & non-recurring expenditure will be borne by Nodal Ministry. Planning Commission has been requested to provide sufficient funds for these very useful schemes.

4.      Involve Panchayati Raj Institutions & Municipalities For Welfare of Senior Citizens: Panchayati Raj Institutions (and Local Bodies) are to be encouraged to initiate & participate in all schemes of Welfare of Elders, address local level issues & needs of the ageing population and implement programmes for them. They will provide Forums for discussing concerns of Older Persons & Activities that need to be taken. Such Forums will be encouraged at Panchayat, Municipal, Block & District level. They will have adequate representation of older women. Panchayat will mobilize the talents & skills of older persons & draw up plans for utilizing these at local level. Kindly issue necessary instructions to all Local Bodies and monitor the progress, as this will lead to real welfare of Elders of Maharashtra.

5.      Instructions to our Media, Trusts, Charitable Hospitals/State & Municipal Hospitals , NGOs , Civic Authorities etc:  Kindly issue necessary instructions to all Stake Holders in Maharashtra for looking after the welfare of Elders, so that they start doing their work, which may lead to our Elders leading dignified life during their last spell of life. Arrangements may please be made to obtain details of all Registered Associations/Organizations working for senior Citizens, if necessary, from Charity Commissioner or as available in Karmayog & other Web Sites or by inviting information from organizations and issue instructions to all Departments to endorse copy of all circulars/instructions affecting elders to Federations/State level Organizations. Similar list should be available with each Panchayat/ Municipality & each Ward Officer for their jurisdiction. State & Local Bodies should call for Meetings, Seminars etc for inter action with elders periodically.
Just as Director (Ageing) is working as Nodal Officer in Ministry of S.J. & E. at Centre, a Nodal Officer at State level may be nominated to deal with all representations/matters pertaining to Senior Citizens.

6.      Annual Report of work done in the State for its Elders: At present any good work done for Elders by State is not known to large number of Senior Citizens. An annual report for all work done for Elders in the State should be prepared and brought out in Media on every International Day for Older Persons. This will not only monitor various actions by all authorities but boost morale of Elders of Maharashtra.
(All these 6 items were represented to Principal Secretary vide my letter dt 30-12-10 followed by reminders but no action is taken even after 5 months!).
  1.  Transport Concessions to Senior Citizens:   As per Memorandum issued by Home Department under no. kra.STC-1998/667/pra.ka.36/pari.1 dt 25-10-2000, 50% concession in fares for travelling in MSRTC buses is given to all Senior Citizens of 65 years and above. It is experienced by Senior Citizens of Maharashtra as well as other States coming to Maharashtra that Conductors insist on production of Identity Card issued by State of Maharashtra and do not accept other Identity Cards issued by other States or Central Government Departments, PAN cards, Passports etc. Any photo-identity card issued by any Public Authority including local authorities should be sufficient to get this concession. We shall be grateful, if proper instructions with liberal provisions are got issued very early. We would also request you to consider earmarking of more seats in ST buses for Senior Citizens, as recently done by BEST and to give free or 90% concession to female Senior Citizens, especially widows and above 80 years.  Present age limit of 65 for this concession may also be reduced to 60, as accepted by Finance Ministry for Tax Exemption from 1-4-11, as all Senior Citizens deserve similar treatment in view of less income after retirement.  General Managers of Local Suburban Railway trains should be approached by State and made to realize the need for separate coach for Senior Citizens, as they are more handicapped than medically certified handicaps and Ladies. Some seats in First Class Coaches should be got reserved.
  2. Medical Treatment in Municipal Hospitals in Mumbai:  As per State GR no. 2006/navi-20 dt 12-12-06, free treatment is to be given to all Senior Citizens in all Municipal Hospitals. All Hospitals, except 3 major Hospitals of Nair, KEM & Sion have given in writing that they are giving free treatment to all Senior Citizens. These 3 major Hospitals are defying the State Orders for last 5 years and do not give free treatment to Senior Citizens. You may kindly use your good offices and help your Elders.
  3. Free Movement of Rickshaws in entire MMRDA Area:  As per Notification in Extraordinary State Gazette dt 25-2-08, all Rickshaws & taxies were allowed to ply in entire MMRDA area but these orders are not yet implemented even after 3 years for rickshaws, resulting in Senior Citizens and all citizens have to walk with luggage/heavy school bags at all check nakas for change over from one side Rickshaws to other side Rickshaws. In Mira Road- Bhayander Area, Rickshaws are not running on meters and they charge exorbitant rates for even short distance e.g. from Checknaka to Shrusti area- distance of less than 1.6 km, Rs 40 is charged. Kindly, use your good offices and get these genuine grievances solved.
  4. Maintenance & Welfare of parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2010:  In the recently notified Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act in extraordinary Gazette dt 23-6-10, important provisions of the Central Act, 2007 in respect of Medical Support for Senior Citizens (Section 20) and Transfer of property to be void in certain circumstances (Section 23) are omitted. These are very important provisions for Senior Citizens and may kindly be got added.
  5. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension:  Out of more than 9 lakh Senior Citizens in Maharashtra, there are 3.33 lakhs BPL Senior Citizens but beneficiaries for Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension, Shravan bal Seva Rajya Nivruti Vetan Yojna: and Rashtriya Bima Yojna are very much less, especially in Urban Areas, due to proper action not being taken by Revenue Department to classify them as BPL or registering them under Sravanbal Yojna. Kindly get some instructions issued to Tehsildars, Municipal Authorities etc and concerned officers to get this done early and properly.(Items 7 to 11 were represented to Home Minister by name under my letter dt 22-8-10 followed by several reminders but no action is taken even after 9 months!).
12.  Web Site for Senior Citizens: There is a necessity of separate Web Site for Senior Citizens of Maharashtra, as present State Web Site is cumbersome and difficult to get information easily.
As regards State Policy, it is understood that you are discussing with representatives of Senior Citizens, which had given draft to the State before some years and likely to notify by 15-8-11. As 15-8-11 is quite away, you may like to notify the draft on State Web Site for views of prominent expert citizens and interested Senior Citizens and their Organizations by giving a period of 20-30 days. As Review Committee has handed over their recommendations to Minister on 30-3-11 and draft is available on Help Age Web Site, those recommendations may also be kept in view.
We shall be thankful, if instructions/GRs etc, as necessary for above items are issued very early without waiting for notification of State Policy.
Yours sincerely,