The Assam government is set to roll out a law from 2nd October making it compulsory for government employees of the state to take care of their aged and dependent parents and also of differently-abled siblings who do not have any source of income. Last year, Assam assembly had passed Assam Employees’ Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring (PRONAM), Bill, 2017- which makes all these mandatory. The Bill aims “to provide for accountability for employees of the state government or any other organisation in Assam in taking care of their parents and divyang (disabled) siblings and in matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”. Regarding this bill Senior BJP leader and Assam cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “If a particular government employee does not take good care of his or her parents, we will deduct 10% from their salary and transfer it to their parents’ account. If there is any sibling that the parents need to take care of then the salary cut may go up to 15%.”
According to the Global age watch Index 2015, India ranks 71 out of 96 countries when it comes to elderly care (60 years plus). India has the second highest population of elderly people in the world. It is estimated to rise to 12% of the total population by 2020. According to Zee News report, “80% of our elderly are in rural areas with 40% below the poverty line and over 73 % illiterate. Scarily, about 90 % of them have no official social security (i.e. no PF, gratuity, pension, etc).” And these days people are either throwing their parents out of their house or leaving them in old age homes, it has become a common phenomena.
Old age homes has become a profitable business, all thanks to those people who spend a heavy amount of money in order to get rid of the responsibilities of their parents. The new generation is becoming more and more materialistic in its approach and their attitude towards their parents is getting highly contaminated which is not good for the society. In fact in old age homes as well there is hardly any relief for the elderlies. Old age homes impose heavy restrictions. There have been cases where elders were badly beaten in old age homes. The living conditions in most of the old age homes are not at all good. Toilets and bedrooms are often unclean and dirty.
This is a great move by the BJP government in Assam which has decided to ensure the well-being of old age parents and differently abled siblings of the government employees. While it is saddening that such a law had to be implemented in India but sadly with increased westernization there has been increased cases of aged parents being left alone to fend for themselves. This move will ensure that the aged parents receive proper respect and the necessities needed to survive, the growing trend of leaving away differently abled people too will see a downward trend.
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