New Delhi: One in every three senior citizens is abused in India. On International Senior Citizens Day, CNN-IBN turns its attention to the elderly who deserve to spend their golden years in dignity. An NGO working for the aged has now found that more that 50 per cent abuse cases come from within the family.
Thrown out of his own house by how own family members, 80-year-old GS Bhatia had no option but to find solace in an old age home. Mr Bhatia said that his own son and daughter-in-law abused him and even refused to give him food days before abandoning him.
Mr Sahani, 84-years-old, also has a similar story of neglect and humiliation to tell. "My son slapped me, my daughter-in-law told me that she's fed me for 15 years and can't feed me any more. They asked me to leave them," he said.
Such shocking abuse of the elderly has been growing in India, claimed a study done by an NGO. The study reportedly found that one in every three senior citizens is abused mainly by their own family. In 56 per cent of the cases, sons were the chief abusers while in 23 per cent cases, daughters were the culprits.
"This survey was done to create awareness and we found some disturbing facts like 75 per cent of the elders being abused were living with their," HelpAge India Communication Manager Sonali said. The study has more shameful findings. It claims that 55 per cent of those who were abused didn't report it, 5O per cent elders continued tolerating the abuse for more than five years and 80 per cent of the elderly continued suffering to save the family honour.
Madhya Pradesh reportedly has the highest rate of abuse followed by Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. In Delhi, such cases have reportedly risen from 12 per cent to 29.8 per cent in just one year. India has roughly 100 million senior citizens. With the UN saying that by 2050, there will be more than 300 million senior citizens, it is about time we think of how to sensitise the young to prevent such cases of abuse.