Monday, February 21, 2011

Pensioners’ paradise? Bangalore’s a hell hole for senior citizens

Pl come back to this comment after reading the news item.

A six percent annual increase in crimes against elders is a serious
cause for concern. Rules framed in TN under MWPSCA provides for
systematic collection of this specific crime data. In AP our senior
police officers are still sleeping over the draft rules sent for their
comments. Is copying from a neighbouring state so difficult.

Pensioners' paradise? Bangalore's a hell hole for senior citizens
Published: Monday, Feb 21, 2011, 9:23 IST
By Shilpa CB | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Pensioners continue to be abused in their paradise. Bangalore, which
was once known as the Pensioners' Paradise,has turned into a hell of
sorts for senior citizens.

The notoriety of the Pensioners' Paradise first came to light after a
Helpage India survey in 2009 showed that crimes against the elderly in
Bangalore were half as much as in Delhi, which topped the list of
cities most dangerous for the old. The situation has only continued to
remain grim since.

There is a dedicated helpline number — 1090 — that attends to calls
from harassed senior citizens in Bangalore city. What is astounding is
that a large number of callers have complaints against younger members
of the family.

During 2010, 71 calls recorded on the helpline related to abuse of
senior citizens at the hands of family members. About 64 calls during
this period pertained to cheating of the old by agencies, while
another 43 calls spoke of senior citizens being defrauded by

According to records of the Union home ministry, crimes against the
elderly have been increasing at a rate of 6% each year for the past
few years.

About 47.3 % of abused elders were ill-treated by people who are often
considered part of the social support mechanism for the aged, found Dr
Indira Jai Prakash, professor of psychology and consultant
gerontologist. Arguing that there is no room for complacency, she says
since the expectation that Indian families will take care of the old
is often not met, there is need for a more effective helpline, and
stronger and more organised groups of the elderly themselves.

There are legal lacunae too that need to be set right, to better
secure the country's elderly. A seminar held in the city recently by
the Nightingales Medical Trust and National Institute of Social
Defence favoured setting up a public-private partnership that would
implement the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and
Senior Citizens Act.

However, the act itself is in need of amendment to better address the
problems of the elderly. There is no recognition of emotional abuse
within it, points out Shiv Kumar, convenor of the helpline number for
senior citizens.
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