The Sindh Senior Citizens Welfare Bill would allow senior citizens to be issued cards by the Senior Citizens Council which would entitle them certain essential services and benefits.
This includes 25 percent discount on transport fares and other purchases, concession at recreation centers, free funeral and burial services, and free treatment of geriatric, medical and health services from government medical institutions.
This council would be established to take measures for the economic welfare of senior citizens. It will be headed by the social welfare minister. Its membership includes the secretary of the concerned departments, two senior citizens from civil society, two members of NGOs and one retired judge.
Those who do not honor the senior citizens card or any of it provisions will be punished with rigorous imprisonment between one to three years and a fine of up to 30,000 rupees or both.
The bill also states those people or family members who abandon the care of a senior citizen will also face imprisonment for three months or a fine. Senior citizens are increasingly facing neglect in our society and some even have been forced to join old-age homes.
This law not just aims to convert the country into a welfare state but also treat senior citizens with respect, compassion, kindness and selflessness as enjoyed upon by our religion. Sindh is the first province in the country which has introduced legislation for the well-being of senior citizens.
The Sindh Senior Citizens’ Welfare Bill, 2014 and the other bills, Sindh Employees Old-age Benefits (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and The Sindh Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Bill, 2015 were passed by the assembly with a majority vote.