The Assam government, on Friday, passed a bill in the state and made it mandatory for the state government employees to take care of their parents and dependent siblings. If not, a 10 per cent is to be deducted from their salary. The Bill, PRANAM (Parental Responsibility And Norms for Accountability and Monitoring) was passed unanimously owing to neglect among children in taking care of their parents.
It is a positive step, say experts. “I think it is an amazing move. As a responsible government, it is very important to lay such rules because unless it is mandatory, many people won’t follow it. Ten per cent is also a good start, because it will take care of the basic needs of the elderly,” said Prasad Bhide, founder of Aarambh, a residential care centre for the elderly in Mumbai.
However, some experts believe that this measure is trying to create discontent among children towards their parents. “I think this shall create a rift among the new generation. If a kid has admitted his parents to an old age home, it is anyway a measure of care and concern. Imposing another 10 per cent will seem like a punishment on those children, owing to dislike,” said Sailesh Mishra, founder- president of Silver Innings, an elderly care centre.
Union minister of state for social justice, Ramdas Athawale, said, “I will personally write to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, asking him to implement a similar policy in Maharashtra state as well.”
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dhananjaya Munde, leader of opposition in Maharashtra legislative council echoed the similar opinion and said, “The state government should also enact a law like this. I will table a private members’ bill in the legislative council.”
“Government should also take responsibility of taking care of the elderly. We must have something like an elderly day-care centre like we have for kids. Positive environment should be created. This can, indeed, be done by giving tax benefits to those who look after their parents,” added Mishra.