Nitish Kumar
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Bihar Cabinet-led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has approved a proposal to punish sons and daughters who abandon their elderly parents with a jail term.
Bihar Cabinet-led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has approved a proposal to punish sons and daughters who abandon their elderly parents with a jail term.
The proposal of Bihar social welfare department has provisions for punishments which could go up to imprisonment if wards do not look after their parents properly in their old ages.
 
The cases against the wards will be registered under the non-bail able section in Bihar after receiving complaints from the elderly parents.
 
Many other decisions were also taken during the cabinet meeting that took place on Tuesday. 
 
According to Global Age Watch Index, India cut a sorry figure on elderly (60 years plus) care. Close to 12% of the population is aged. A large number of them, nearly 80% live in the rural areas.
 
Also 40% of them are below poverty line and around 73% are illiterate. It is no surprise that 90% of such people have no social security and hence they are heavily dependent on their savings and help from sons and daughters. 
 
Bihar government's proposal can be a gamechanger if it formally makes it compulsory for wards to look after parents. At a time when apathy both in urban and rural areas is high towards the elderly population, this will come as a shot in the arm for them.
 
However, the practical problems regarding the implementation of such a rule are likely to be immense.