Hyderabad: The Commissioner of Department of disabled and Senior Citizens, Mrs Anitha Rajendra has appealed to the NGOs to make one minute short films on elder abuse awareness, and the media houses to telecast them, to create awareness on elder abuse in the State.
After releasing a report prepared by Helpage India organization on ‘Elder Abuse and Crime in India’ here today, she said that there was a need to set up counseling centres to counsel the senior citizens on adjusting to the changing circumstances. She urged the Senior citizens to adjust with their children, who are leading their lives. She informed that that the crime against elders was increasing in the urban areas. She said that elder abuse was starting from house itself. Abuses are different types like verbal, emotional and physical against elder people, she added. She said that the government would release rules relating to Maintenance of Senior Citizen Act 2008, soon.
Helpage India Director, Mr S. Dass said that a study was conducted across nine cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Bhopal, Chennai, Patna and Hyderabad. He said that a sample size of 900– 100 elderly per city ( 50 men and 50 women) was carried out in each of the nine cities with semi structured interviews among the elderly. It was observed that on a national level, elder abuse was highest among the 70 plus elderly, and its mostly elderly women who face abuse due to dependence on sons, he said.
All India Senior Citizens Confederation president Mr Vittal urged the Central and State Governments to increase the retirement age from 58 to 65 years. He said that about 25,000 senior citizens Below Poverty Line were living in old age homes in a depraved state, as they did not have minimum facilities at their homes.
Mr Dass said that the daughter-in-law emerged as the major abuser of the elderly (63.4 per cent), followed by son (44 percent), from the lower socio economic strata, as against the son ( 53,4 percent) last year in the higher socio economic strata. He also said that more than one fifth of elderly people have experienced abuse. While Bengalore tops abuse cases with a shocking 44 percent, it was closely followed by Hyderabad 38 per cent, Bhopal 30 percent and Kolkata 23 per cent the lowest being Chennai only two per cent.
Mr Dass said that they would organize a walkathon programme at Vijayawada on June 16. He said that they have set up a round the clock helpline number 1253 for the benefit of the senior citizens.