CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND SAFEGUARDS PROVIDED TO WOMEN
• Article 15(1) – The state shall not discriminate against any citizen of India on the ground of sex.
• Article 15(3) – The state is empowered to make any special provision for women. In other words, this provision enables the state to make affirmative discrimination in favor of women.
• Article 16(2) – No citizen shall be discriminated against or be ineligible for any employment or office under the state on the ground of sex.
• Article 23(1) – Traffic in human beings and forced labor are prohibited.
• Article 39(a) – The state to secure for men and women equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood.
• Article 39(d) – The state to secure equal pay for equal work for both Indian men and women.
• Article 39(e) – The state is required to ensure that the health and strength of women workers are not abused and that they are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their strength.
• Article 42 – The state shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
• Article 51-A(e) – It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
• Article 243-D(3) – One-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women.
• Article 243-D(4) – One-third of the total number of offices of chairpersons in the Panchayat at each level shall be reserved for women.
• Article 243-T(3) – One-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality shall be reserved for women.
• Article 243-T(4) – The offices of chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for women in such manner as the State Legislature may provide.
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND SAFEGUARDS PROVIDED TO CHILDREN
• Article 14 – The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of laws with in the territory of India.
• Article 15 – The State shall not discriminate against any citizen. Nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from making any special provisions for women and children.
• Article 21 – No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
• Article 21 A – The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6-14 years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.
• Article 23 – Traffic in human beings and beggary and other forms of forced labor are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with the law.
• Article 24 No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
• Constitution (86th Amendment) Act was notified on 13th December 2002, making free and compulsory education a Fundamental Right for all children in the age group of 6-14 years.
• Article 39(e) and (f) provides that the State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing to “ensure that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused” and “that the citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength” and that “the children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity” and that the childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
• Article 45: The State shall endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
• Article 47: The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties.
• Article 243G read with Schedule 11: provide for institutionalization of child care by seeking to entrust programmes of Women and Child Development to Panchayat (Item 25 of Schedule 11), apart from education (item 17), family welfare (item 25), health and sanitation (item 23) and other items with a bearing on the welfare of children.
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND SAFEGUARDS PROVIDED TO OLD AGE PERSONS
The population of the elderly persons has been increasing over the years. As per the UNESCO estimates, the number of the aged (60+) is likely to be 590 million in 2005. The figure will double by 2025. By 2025, the world will have more elderly than young people and cross two billion mark by 2050. In India also, the population of elder persons has increased form nearly 2 crores in 1951 to 7.2 crores in 2001. In other words about 8% of the total population is above 60 years. The figure will cross 18 % marks by 2025.
• Directive Principle of State Policy, Article 41 states that “the state shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of underserved want.”
• Article 46: Promotion of educational and economic interests of SCs, STs and other weaker sections: The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
• Apart from these the other legal laws like Section 125 (1) (2) of CrPC, Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956 (Section 20), Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and 18 Principles passed and adopted by UN General Assembly.