Aged people are better known as senior citizens. Aging has become a worldwide problem today. Aged people have problems which are different. Sometimes old aged people have neglected by their own family. Since their productive capacity has decreased or completely finished, they do not get respect in the family is as well as in society.  Such people required to be given humanitarian treatment and good medical relief also. Human rights like pension gratuity,  provident fund etc. have now become statutory rights also.

            The question on the general rights of The aged persons was raised for the first time in 1948 before the general assembly of the United Nations by Argentina when it submitted a draft declaration of old age rights. The draft was submitted to the Social Committee and the Commission on human rights through the Economic and Social Court for study and report.The general assembly decided to convene a world assembly on the Elderly in 1982.  this title was converted to "World Assembly on Aging'. It was held at Vienna. At this Assembly was adopted the Vienna International Plan of Action on Aging.  it was approved by the United Nations General Assembly on  3rd December 1982.  It was decided that the fundamental and inalienable rights Incorporated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights applied fully to all aging persons.

Human Rights of Aged Person

                The most important Human Right Of The aged people is social security, this is more Complex than those of normal people.Sometimes elderly people are lonely.  for example, a wife maybe no more and there is nobody to look after an elderly man. In such cases, the State should provide for their accommodation and maintenance. In most of the cases, aged people remain sick. there must be a provision for their good medical treatment also. in cases of mental depression, they are entitled to counseling. Wherever they are, there should be a good social environment so that they do not feel dejected and alone. Not only for their physical but their mental care human rights are defined,  like children's Human Rights on women's Human Rights. In short aged people require provision for their accommodation and maintenance, medical relief and good social environment.  They should not feel that they are being neglected.  They should also be respected.

Position of Aged Persons in India

                 In traditional Indian society,  elder persons enjoyed good honor and authority in the joint family. They had decision making power and they were respected by the community at large.

     On 13 January 1999, the Central Government has approved National Policy about old age persons, which shows that the State shall give economic assistance to old persons. care for their health,  shelter and welfare also taken for providing economic help to them. The State shall protect them Against maltreatment and exploitation and will also provide employment to them,  so that they may themselves improve the living standards.

     For the security of old age person,  the state has passed the Employees State Insurance Act 1948 the Employees Provident Fund Act 1952.

      Some facilities in taxation, conveyance by railways, etc are given to them. But these facilities are not sufficient.  The State, as well as the society, has to think over seriously on the problems of aged persons.

See also... United Nations principles for older persons based on International Plan of Action on Aging 

a) Constitutional protection to The aged -

    Article 41 of the Indian Constitution mentions old age that the State shall within the limit of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want.

b) Provision under the  Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 -

     Section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 casts a duty upon a Hindu to maintain his or her aged or infirm parents who is unable to maintain himself or herself.  this duty is placed both on Hindu male and female.  This duty is personal and independent of any property.  A daughter's duty to maintain her aged or disabled father, mother or childless stepmother continuous even after her marriage.

c) Provision under the Criminal Procedure Code 1973 -

       Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 gives effect to the natural and fundamental duty of a man to maintain his parents so long as they are unable to maintain themselves. This provision is a  measure for Social justice and aims to protect women, children and old infirm parents.
There must be a proof of negligence or refusal to maintain. A magistrate of the first class may upon such proof of such neglect or refusal order such person to make a monthly allowance as the magistrate think fit.   

d) Article 25 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

        (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

        (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

          The employees in government services are awarded pension facility,  Provident fund, gratuity, etc. Such facilities should also be awarded to those who are not in employment,  but some independent profession or daily wage getting laborers.

See also...

Human Rights of Women In India

Human Rights of Dalits

Human Rights of Prisoners

Rights of Minorities (Human Rights)


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