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I live in a separate house, don’t want to disturb the children

Question: I am 72 years old. My wife died about 10 years ago. I have 2 sons and 1 daughter. I used to do business. Now I am living a retired life. I raised my children with the savings of my whole life. They did not leave any wish unfulfilled. I am financially independent. Children are all married and successful in professional life. they are busy They don’t even have time to meet me once a month. Want to see grandchildren, but don’t want to bother them since they are busy. I live in a separate house. The boys left people to look after me. But now in old age I feel the absence of children a little more. Wish their company. I am not financially dependent on children. There is no complaint against them. But in our country, many unfortunate parents in their old age live a miserable life due to the utter neglect of their children. Is there any remedy?

Thanks for your question. As parents reach old age, they feel a greater need for care from their children. Then it is the moral responsibility of every child to serve parents. But the reality is that many parents live a difficult life in their old age. Despite being neglected, they accept everything thinking of their children’s happiness. In our country providing maintenance to elderly parents is a legal obligation. In 2013, a law called ‘Parental Maintenance Act 2013’ has been enacted in Bangladesh. Many people have no idea about the law.

The government enacted this law in 2013 to ensure maintenance of parents and make it mandatory for children to live with them. Section 3 of the Parental Maintenance Act 2013 states that every child shall ensure the maintenance of his parents and if there are multiple children, each shall ensure maintenance on the basis of negotiation.

The law also states that no child shall be forced to live together or separately in any nursing home or elsewhere against his or her parents or both. Children will regularly inquire about the health of their parents, provide necessary medical treatment and care. Not only that, the law also says to provide regular companionship to parents. If a child’s wife, child or any other near relative prevents the child from fulfilling his duty to the aged parents, they will also be guilty of the same offence. They can also be brought under the punishment under this Act.

According to section 3 (7) of the Parental Maintenance Act, ‘If either parent or both, live separately without living with the children, each child of the said parent shall receive a reasonable amount from his daily income, monthly income or annual income. shall pay regularly to either parent, or both as the case may be. Or shall spend at least ten percent of the monthly income for the maintenance of the parents.’

A person who violates the Parental Maintenance Act will be tried in the court of a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class or a Metropolitan Magistrate. No court shall take cognizance of an offense committed under this Act without a written complaint by the father or mother. The Act has also included an arbitration clause.

According to Section 5 (1) of the Parental Maintenance Act 2013, if an elder makes such a complaint against his children and the complaint is proved, then they are liable to imprisonment for three months in default of payment of a fine of one lakh rupees. However, the use of this law is still very low in our country.

Wishing you all the best. You may not have a specific complaint yourself, but hopefully others will benefit from your question.