Implementation of relevant laws in true spirit stressed for addressing issues of senior citizens

Karachi, December 21, 2016 (PPI-OT):Provincial ministers, members of Sindh Assembly from treasury and opposition benches, city councillors, civil society representatives and legal experts have eulogized the role of Sindh Assembly in legislation on key issues and rights of women, children, minority community, differentially abled persons and senior citizens and added Sindh assembly had always taken lead on the key issues of marginalized segments of society. However, they pointed out that laws were not implemented in letter and spirit for numerous reasons which had accumulated the troubles and complicatedness for women, children and minorities. They stressed the need to implement laws in letter and spirit.

These views were expressed at a one day workshop on “The Sindh Senior Citizens Act, 2014- A Step Towards Senior Citizens Rights” organized by social welfare department in collaboration with Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) and Help Age International here at local hotel.

Addressing the workshop, provincial minister for health Dr. Sikandar Mandhro said that it was necessary and important bill passed by Sindh Assembly after a great deal of deliberations and stressed the need to implement the act with its spirit.

He advised to frame the rules of business of Sindh Senior Citizens Act with the consultations of all stakeholders particularly transporters trade unions, traders and private health service providers so that it is implemented straightforwardly and various stakeholders owe it as their obligation. He remarked that in our country, assemblies enacted laws for the welfare and protection of citizens rights, however these were not implemented for five years, sometimes ten years and even in some condition for fifteen years.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh on minorities and interfaith harmony Dr. Khatoo Mal Jeevan said that Sindh Assembly had honour of exceptional record of legislation for marginalized communities. He said legislature of Sindh Assembly took tiring efforts to enact laws for addressing the issues of common man. However, implementation phase of these laws remained weak and unnecessary impediments were created by bureaucracy and particular mind sets for their personal gains harming the country. Dr. Khatoo Mal said that population ratio of senior citizens was high in Tharparkar district and recommended to construct shelter home.

MQM Pakistan MPA Syed Sardar Ahmed lauded the social welfare department efforts and added that department taken timely and much needed step by making efforts for solving issues of senior citizens. He suggested lessening gap between intelligentsia for resolving the issues of elderly persons. “Health insurance policy should be introduced for senior citizens on priority,” he added.

Provincial minister for social welfare Ms. Shamim Mumtaz addressing the concluding session said that department was taking practical steps for the welfare of senior citizens and shelter homes were being established at district level throughout province. She informed that shelter home for senior citizens under construction in New Karachi which will be completed soon.

She said that due to prolonged delay in census, we were unaware of authentic population of senior citizens. To overcome this , She said that department decided to conduct survey to ascertain the correct data of senior citizens in province adding that it would be started from district Larkana and completed before the upcoming census announced by federal government.

Earlier, country director Help Age International Ajeeba K. Aslam addressing on the ageing and challenges said that senior citizens were playing key role in economic developments round the world; however, senior citizens had no active contribution to economy in our country particularly in Sindh province. She said that social security was the responsibility of incumbent governments and suggested to launch programs for senior citizens on the lines of BISP and youth development programs. She also advised to establish senior citizens’ shelter homes in public private partnership mode for quality services at these shelter homes. She also recommended registering shelter homes of senior citizens functioning under private sector organization similar to registration of NGO’s with social welfare department to standardize the services provided to senior citizens.

Secretary social welfare department Dr. Shireen Mustafa Narijo gave detailed briefing on the Sindh Senior Citizens Act, 2014. CEO SRSO Muhammad Dittal Kalhoro spoke on the senior citizens of Sindh for Financial Inclusion and working of his organization. Members of Sindh Assembly Ms. Ghazala Siyal and Khair-u-Nissa Mughal and others also contributed to workshop. Among others officials of finance, health, law, home, transport, food and agriculture, transport, zakat and usher, planning and development departments, representatives of civil society and media persons also attended the workshop.

For more information, contact:
Information and Archives Department
Directorate of Press Information
Government of Sindh
95-Sindh Secretariat 4-B, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-99204423, +92-21-99204401