Four new old age homes to be opened in Bihar soon to shelter elderly people
These new homes will be in addition to five old age homes already functioning in the state - at Patna, Muzaffarpur, Purnea , Gaya and Bhagalpur and which together have 127 inmates, at present.patna Updated: Oct 08, 2017 18:57 IST
With the objective of sheltering the elderly people, especially those abandoned by their next of kin or otherwise having none to look after them, the Bihar government is set to open four new old age homes in different towns in the coming months.
These new homes will the total number of such institutions to nine. There are already five old age homes functioning in the state at Patna, Muzaffarpur, Purnea , Gaya and Bhagalpur. Together, they have 127 inmates at present.
“ The infrastructure to open the new old age homes is almost ready. The new homes will become operational soon,” said Sunil Kumar, director, social welfare directorate. The new homes for the elderly will come up at Bettiah, Begusarai, Samastipur and Sasaram.
The need for new old age homes is attributed to the rising number of elderly being left to fend for themselves by their immediate family or being unable to sustain themselves out of poverty. As such, even after the addition of four new homes, the capacities created will be grossly inadequate.
The inmates housed in the five existing old age homes are looked after jointly by the social welfare and NGOs engaged for the purpose. The food and medical expenses of the inmates are borne by the state government.
Officials said apart from running the old age homes, the state government provides old age pension to 44 lakh elderly people under the old age pension scheme.
In recent times, there has been a rise in cases of elderly people being abandoned by their wards. In such cases, new norms under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 were being enforced and cases were being lodged against sons and daughters who abandon their parents .
“Whenever we get an application from an elderly couple or person seeking shelter at an old age homes, we ascertain their credentials and, if applicable, lodge a case against their wards for neglecting their parents under the new act.
“Only those who still qualify are given shelter at the homes,” said a senior officer of the social welfare directorate. Recently, an elderly person at Patna city was given respite under the new law when he was driven out of the house by his son.