Children, grandchildren and relatives of senior citizens who will inherit their property after their death have a legal obligation to look after them.

Kerala govt to take strict action against children who abandon ageing parentsRepresentational image
news Society Friday, December 28, 2018 - 17:05

The Social Justice Department of the Government of Kerala is planning to take quicker and stricter action against those who abandon their parents or senior members of their family at government senior citizen’s homes. According to the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, relatives of senior citizens who will inherit their property after their death are legally obliged to look after them, and an attempt to abandon parents can attract jail term and a fine. 

Meanwhile, due to a reported rise in the number of cases of childless parents being abandoned in government senior citizen’s homes, the Social Justice Department of Kerala has issued an order mandating speedier distribution of benefits to senior citizens.

The government of Kerala currently runs 16 senior citizen homes, with a total of 834 residents. Currently, those with children would not be eligible to stay at these homes, but officials find that a number of people have been abandoned in government-run homes despite having relatives who could care for them. 

Subhash, Assistant Director at the Social Justice Department told TNM, “The administration of these matters is undertaken by a Regional Divisional Officer in each district. RDOs have been instructed to record the details of relatives of inmates in government senior citizens home, including their property, and to ensure that those with families are provided what relief they require.”

“If there are any cases of aged citizens whose children are unwilling to care for them, we will try to intervene. This is being done to curb the rising number of such cases, and to provide faster relief to senior citizens than courts,” he added. 

He also stated that if the RDO found senior citizens in their zones who were not being cared for properly, the department would arrange for them to be moved to a senior citizens home or camp, and provide any other relief they needed. In instances where senior citizens did have able children who refused to take care of them, he says the department would also initiate legal action, if other interventions failed.

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