Senate approves shelter houses for senior citizens
By: Ijaz Kakakhel
ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday passed a resolution relating to construction of shelter houses for senior citizens while adopted another resolution relating to the arrangements for the establishment of Institute for boarding and lodging of children of unknown parentage in Islamabad Capital Territory.
Karim Ahmed Khawaja presented both the resolutions. While presenting the resolution, Khawaja said rapid increase in population put pressure on economic situation of everyone. Proper look after of parents is the responsibility of their children but for those who do not have children such type of Shelter Houses for senior citizen should be establish.
Different views were presented on first resolution before its passage. Some parliamentarians were of the view that responsibility of senior citizens should be born by their children. Some termed it a Western concept but supported the move for the senior citizens who do not have children.
Senator Kazim khan said putting responsibilities of elders to someone else is not right decision. After establishment of such institutes, corruption usually starts there. He suggested that like BISP programme, the government has to arrange some sorts of stipends for senior citizens. Raja Zafarul Haq said family units were becoming weak with the passage of time and in some case the children could not fulfil their responsibility for proper look after of their senior. For getting proper employment, people migrating from rural to urban areas and usually, left their parents in villages where no one available for their proper look after. In such situation establishment of such Shelter Houses are useful. However, in this regard awareness campaign should be initiated so that people should fulfil their responsibilities of proper look after of their senior. Farhatullah Babar said there is fragmentation in family and look after of senior is a tough job, therefore, it should be responsibility of both family as well as government. He suggested that such type of Shelter Houses should be established on public private partnership.
Senator Ilyas Bilour said this is a matter of shame for those who will take their parents in these shelter houses. “A person who brought up his children later denied for their proper look after. However, I will support it only for those who don’t have children.”
Raza Rabbani said Quaid-e-Azam already allowed establishment of such shelter houses. He said it is responsibility of the state to provide food, shelter and medical facilities to citizens.
Opposition leader Ishaq Dar said if a fund established then there were several philanthropists who would donate for these houses. Supporting the resolution, Kalsoom Parveen said senior citizen should be issued credit cards for collecting their pension because they were confronting various problems. The house unanimously passed the resolution Karim Khawaja also presented another resolution for establishment of institute for boarding and lodging of children of unknown parentage in Islamabad Capital Territory. After bombardments, terrorists’ activities, some children became street children. Several countries like Saudi Arabia and Oman had already established such institutes to cater to these children.
Hafiz Hamidullah of JUI-F said, “By establishment of shelter houses for elder citizens and children with unknown parentage we are just following Western countries.” He suggested hanging those responsible for producing such children. The House will meet on Wednesday at 4pm.