Friday, October 1, 2010

Vulnerable in twilight years

(Not only in Chandigarh, in other cities to Senior citizens are
facing security issues PVM.)

Vulnerable in twilight years
Priyanka Agrawal, TNN, Oct 1, 2010, 04.45am IST

In their old age, they are often neglected and left to fend for
themselves, making them susceptible to a host of issues –– from
physical attacks to emotional crisis. On International Senior
Citizens' Day, TOI takes a peep into their lives...

Swarnjit Pannu, 72, who remained confined to her bed and unattended
for two days after she fell ill, was fortunate that her neighbour
happened to pay her a casual visit. She managed to get treatment in

Prem Lata, 62, was attacked and robbed by her distant relative inside
her rented accommodation in sector 32 on August 13, 2010. The accused,
Satish Kumar, had injured her grieviously with a blade and fled with
her gold bangles. The accused had also tried to strangulate her.

These are not isolated cases. Over the years, the Tricity is
witnessing an increasing number of cases where senior citizens are
victims of physical and emotional assault which leaves them more and
more vulnerable.

Age and living alone is one of the main factors that make senior
citizens vulnerable.

"A few years ago I got a call from a distant relative of mine in the
middle of the night. His wife was bleeding profusely. There was no one
who could take them to the hospital as their three children are
abroad. I had to take them to a hospital. Thankfully the woman
survived," said HPS Harbhajan Chopra, treasurer of Mohali Senior
Citizens Association.

Senior citizens living alone are also soft targets for al kinds of
criminals.On August 4, 2009, 50-year-old wife of a SBI bank official,
Santosh Devi, was robbed and murdered by unidentified assailants
inside her house.

In an incident on May 13, 2007, 80-year-old Sucha Singh and his
72-year-old wife Balbir Kaur and their domestic help Chhotu were
brutally murdered at their residence in Kajheri village by their
domestic help Rajiv and his two accomplices. They fled with lakhs of
rupees and jewellery.

As if this is not enough to make their lives miserable, several senior
citizens are also being forced out of their homes and into rented
accommodations or old age homes.

"There was an incident that was brought to our association where a
63-year-old woman's home was forcefully occupied by her tenants. They
took advantage of her age and slowly took over her property. She now
has to live in an old age home," said Surjeet Kumar from Chandigarh
Senior Citizens Association.

In another case in Mohali a 73-year-old couple was forced out of their
home by their daughter-in-law, forcing them to live in rented
accommodations. "Our daughter-in-law did not want to take care of us
because of our age," said Kunwarjit Singh.

However, senior citizens living alone with domestic help are also
partly responsible for making themselves vulnerable by failing to
register their servants and tenants at police stations.

"We ask our members to register their servants and tenants with the
police but they never do so. It is our fault if we are not being able
to protect ourselves when we can. No wonder elders are becoming more
and more vulnerable," said SP Sharma, president of Senior Citizens
Association, Panchkula

Read more: Vulnerable in twilight years - The Times of India

Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph
040-27846631 / 9490804278.
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