Case - 2
Seniors in India have a right to live the life of dignity and that has been recognized in Indian law. Under the law, all state governments in India are mandated to establish old age homes in each district. That is seen as a starting point to allow the elderly to have some chance of a life of dignity in their final years. And the courts are pretty clear on that. Read below.
Indian elderly have a right to live with dignity
Senior Citizen Welfare… vs State Of Uttarakhand And Another (2018)
In this case, the High Court of Uttarakhand while recognizing the failure of State to maintain adequate old age homes for the senior citizens in the State issued a number of mandatory directions keeping in mind the elderly’s right to live with dignity.
The case was filed by a registered Society – Senior Citizens Welfare Organization – to protect the rights of the senior citizens as per the provisions of the Act. The Society claimed that the state of Uttarakhand had failed to establish the Old Age Homes for the elderly which was consequential in them not being able to live a normal life or life of dignity. The law requires each State Government to establish and maintain such number of old age homes at accessible places at least one in each district to accommodate minimum 150 senior citizens who are indigent. The state of Uttarakhand had established only two old age homes.
Hon’ble Rajiv Sharma, J. and Hon’ble Lok Pal Singh, J. heard the matter. They said:
- As per the law the State Government is required to establish old age homes in each district.
- Therefore, the State Government should establish the old age homes at its own level instead of relying upon NGOs or Societies. It cannot be permitted to pass its the responsibilities upon the NGOs for better management of the old age homes.
- That every senior citizen has a fundamental right to live with dignity. It is the duty cast upon the State Government to protect the life, liberty and property including dignity and decency of senior citizens. The state cannot be permitted to leave the elderly unattended in the twilight years of their lives.
- Ours is a welfare and socialist state and it is expected that every senior citizen should live in a dignified manner with the assistance to be provided by the State Government.