Caring for the elderly qualifies as one of the most elemental roles a society must be held accountable for. While most developed countries have legislation and schemes in place to ensure that no senior citizens are deprived of their rights, a large part of the population of countries such as ours remain unaware of them owing to low literacy rates. While some of the most basic laws include the Elder law and the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, there are other sections of the Indian constitution that safeguard the rights and interests of the elderly.

Figures and estimates released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have asserted that the population of the world’s elderly (those aged above 60) is likely to cross the two billion mark by 2050. The figure was an estimated 590 million in 2005. Senior citizens comprised of 8 per cent of India’s total population at 7.2 crores as per the last survey in 2001, however, this figure has been predicted to go up by 18 per cent by 2025. With that in mind, here are a few safeguards that protect the rights of senior citizens in India. Any grievances regarding these provisions are handled by the Ministry of Justice and Empowerment.

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