Friday, June 15, 2012

It’s no country for old people

It’s no country for old people
By Neetu Chandra in New Delhi
IN A COUNTRY where respect for elders is the cornerstone of family values, the abuse of elders by family members is on the rise and the Capital has seen an alarming jump in the number of such incidents.
A survey report released on Thursday by Help Age India, an NGO that works for the elderly, has revealed that Delhi NCR is second among the four Metro cities when it comes to mistreating its elderly population.
In Delhi NCR 30 per cent of the respondents reported abuse in 2011 compared to 12 per cent in the previous year.
The report revealed that the son is the primary perpetrator of abuse against Delhi’s senior citizens. More than 60 per cent of those surveyed reported abuse by their sons followed by the daughter- in- law in 24 per cent cases.
The report highlighted economic exploitation faced by 33 per cent of the respondents and disrespect due to this was faced by 38 per cent.
“ More elderly women as compared to men faced abuse. More than 50 per cent of those abused, faced this situation for more than five years. 33 per cent faced it for up to three years and less than one per cent faced it for more than six years,” the report said.
“ About 76 per cent did not report it. 80 per cent elderly did not report the abuse to uphold family honour,” the report added.
Among the rest of the three Metro cities, Kolkata tops the list with 40 per cent respondents reporting abuse followed by Delhi NCR. Mumbai ( Maharashtra) at 29.46 per cent is third followed by Chennai where 27.56 per cent of elderly faced abuse.
Moved by the figures and the situation, Tejendra Khanna, the lieutenant governor has proposed setting up of clubs and counselling sessions for the elderly.
“ Clubs can prove helpful in easing out their pressures.
The Delhi police can also start counselling sessions. We will discuss these shortly. The resident welfare organisations should also be involved,” Khanna said.
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