It is a natural law that if we are born once, we will have to leave this Earth one day. We have to face many difficult situations to run the vehicle of our life. When a person is aging his physical, mental as well as economic perceptions change drastically which changes him from an independent to a dependent person. Here comes the importance of providing certain rights to such elders of the society. There is a question that arises at this point of time, that whether this is a right to be enforced in favour of the seniors of the society or it is a mandatory moral duty of each and every person of this country to look after their parents. It is irrelevant to see to the age of his/her parents and whether they have crossed the age of 60 or not. It can be stated undoubtedly that the so-called rights of the senior citizens are more than rights they are the duty of each and every other person A senior citizen is the one who has crossed the age of 60. The Indian government provides concession, financial assistance for senior citizens. There are various public/private sectors of the society providing aids for them. We can proudly say that our country has many laws and enactments which play a vital role in protecting the rights of senior citizens. Article 41 of the Constitution of India provides for right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases. Article 46 provides for promotion of educational and economic interests of scheduled caste, tribes and other weaker section of the society. The significance of these Articles is that in one point or the other, Article 41 can be made applicable for the senior citizen and Article 46 provides certain educational and economic interests for the people who are of weaker sections of the society. Benefits of Senior Citizen Card: 1. Tax Benefits To ease your financial burdens during retirement, tax laws are relaxed for senior citizens in India. The Income Tax Department considers persons aged 60 to be senior citizens and persons aged 80 as super senior citizens. For resident senior citizens, income of up to Rs. 3 lakh is exempt from tax. Income between Rs. 3-6 lakh is taxed at 10% while income between Rs. 5-10 lakh is taxed at 20%. Income above Rs. 10 lakh is taxed at 30%. You may also avail of tax deduction under Section 80D of Income Tax Act, 1961 for health insurance premium. Senior citizens suffering from critical illness can receive tax deduction of up to Rs. 50,000. 2. Cheaper Air Travel Tickets Senior citizens with Indian citizenship can enjoy various discounts on travel fares. For instance, if you are over 63 years of age, you are eligible for 50% discount on economy fare for domestic travel via Air India. For Jet Airways, senior citizens over 65 can avail of a 50% discount on economy or premier fare for domestic travel within India. 3. Cheaper Railway Tickets Travelling to see your loved ones or friends in another city? Railway tickets are cheaper for senior citizens in India. Male and female senior citizens can avail of 40% and 50% discount respectively for all classes of Mail, Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Express, and Duronto trains. However, this discount is not available for tatkal bookings. Separate counters are available for you to use while booking. For those booking online, the passenger reservation system automatically reserves the lower berth for senior citizens. 4. Reduced Telephone Charges Senior citizens aged 65 and above also have their telephone bills subsidised as well. BSNL customers are eligible for registration of telephone on priority and can have the registration charges waived. MTNL customers are eligible for 25% discount on installation charges, as well as monthly service charges for landline connections. 5. Banking made simpler Several banks in India have introduced their own special programs catered towards senior citizens through special accounts, discounts, investment benefits, and more. Bank branches typically have separate queues for senior citizens for your convenience. Many offer special accounts for senior citizens with facilities such as issuance of senior citizen cards, priority service, better interest rates, and more. You can also receive higher interest on investments. The Senior Citizen’s Saving Scheme offers an interest rate of 8.4% per annum. Senior citizens are also entitled to a 0.5% higher interest rate on fixed deposits than usual rates. 6. Court Hearing Priority Senior citizens aged 60 and above can write to the court for preferential hearing of your cases to ensure convenience and faster response time. 7. Welfare Schemes Across all sectors, various welfare schemes have been rolled out for senior citizens in India. Hospitals typically have separate queues and counters for the elderly to assist with registration and clinical examination. For senior citizens aged 60 and above, National Insurance offers the Varishta Mediclaim Policy that offers a maximum insurance sum of Rs. 1 lakh for hospitalisation and Rs. 2 lakh for critical insurance. LIC’s Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 is available for senior citizens to receive an assured pension based on a guaranteed return rate of 8% for 10 years. Under this scheme, you can invest a maximum of Rs. 7.5 lakh and receive your pension on a monthly, quarterly, half yearly, or yearly basis. 8. Simpler Passport Application Applying for a passport is often a tedious process. Typically, police verification must be completed before the applicant is issued a passport. However, police verification may be done post-issuance (subject to condition) for senior citizens. To do so, you must submit a copy of your son/daughter’s passport (aged above 18) who is studying abroad along with their application form. The child’s passport copy must have a page bearing the name of their parents. As a conclusion, it can be thus stated that there are various problems faced by senior citizen of our country like lack of proper care, good medication and negligence from the part of family members as well as the society and various acts which may affect even their life and property as well. Government has implemented various schemes and projects like pension scheme in favour of the senior citizens of the society. Above all such benefits, they are in need of love, care and affection from their relatives and the society.We have to just keep this in our mind that our attitude towards them should be positively changed so that they also will have a better tomorrow.Democracy is for all, and should be for all.
Internship Trainee -Indian Media Council (IMC)