Manipur Social Welfare department director Ngangom Uttam, noting that parents have to sacrifice their needs and curb freedom of choices just to fulfill the needs of their children, urged all the parents to make a legally binding agreement with their children for land or property transfers. He asserted that making such an agreement will facilitate seeking legal help in case their children ill-treat them.
He was speaking at the observation of International Day of Older Persons, 2023 organised by the Directorate of Social Welfare at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen in Palace Compound on Sunday. The event was held on the theme ‘Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of Older Persons: Across Generation’.
Ng Uttam implored the parents not to sink beneath their emotions and love for their children, but also exercise their rights. He asserted that they must sign a legal agreement with their close and loved ones for property transfers. He added that a clause stating ‘I give, bequeath all my properties to my children, however, in return for the generosity shown, my children must look and care for me in times of sickness’ must be included in the agreement.
He added that with such an agreement, the parents can reclaim property gifted or transferred to children or heirs if they ever decide to violate the agreement. He maintained that the ‘Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act’ will be passed and implemented without further delay. Under the Act, Maintenance Tribunals may direct children to pay a maximum of Rs 10,000 per month as maintenance amount to their parents, he added.
He continued that parents can claim the maintenance fees by raising a complaint to the SDO concerned. If they are not satisfied with the SDO’s decision, they can approach the DC, he said. The Act also says that senior citizens who have no children of their own can transfer property to an individual they trust on the condition that the transferee would provide basic amenities.
Ng Uttam said that the Social Welfare will organise various awareness programmes on the Act once it is passed. He also highlighted the impacts and sufferings caused by the prevailing conflict. He said that several houses were burnt to ashes and many precious lives were lost in the riots. The Director further encouraged the elderly to speak their heart out on the hardships and plights facing them amidst these tough times.
He also urged them to tame their anger and advise, educate the youths and correct their mistakes. He said that creating division between the elderly and the youth at such a critical juncture is not a correct step, especially when all should be standing in unity.
He further expressed discontent over the inability to hand out the senior citizens’ pensions during the observation. He mentioned that the National and state-sponsored pension is being provided to as many as 1 lakh 20 thousand senior citizens of the state.
The Department has also resolved to give a monthly pension of Rs 1,000 to the elderly aged above 80 years. He assured to hand over the pension within this month and urged the displaced and affected elderly persons to give accurate details of their bank accounts to the department to enable the transfer.
The department also handed over simple gifts to altogether 600 senior citizens staying at various relief camps and old age homes on the occasion. Imphal West Deputy Commissioner Th Kirankumar Singh and Imphal East Deputy Commissioner Khumanthem Diana Devi were among those who attended the event.