A concerned Senior Citizen, Kundli-based senior journalist, Jitendra Kumar Sharma, fearlessly expresses his Thoughts on The United Nations’ Day, Today, June 15, the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
A few days back younger married women of Haryana received wide publicity on the social media for the very wrong reasons. A video had gone viral as thousands of viewers watched and discussed the unsavory action of a Haryanavi married woman. The Haryanavi ‘bahu’ was seen mercilessly beating her 80-year-old widowed mother-in-law !
The Haryana police too saw this video of an ill-behaved Haryanavi Bahu’s criminal actions and arrested her.
it were an isolated incident, there would be no need for me to write
this piece. Regretfully, this is not a rare occurrence nor do such
abusive acts always get legally punished. The fact is, Indian senior
citizens routinely face harassment, humiliation, social insults and even
injuries by their family members, relatives, children and society at
There are some NGOs dedicated to the cause of senior citizens. They conduct surveys and publish reports on the state of Indian senior citizens. According to an Agewell Foundation survey, over 71% of elders face abuse. Another NGO, HelpAge India’s study last year put the estimate at 60%. The UNOs report says that 1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse.
The United Nations have designated June 15 (today) as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to articulate their repugnance and resistance to the abuse and suffering inflicted on the elders anywhere.
The aforementioned HelpAge study shows that “ the most common form of abuse elders experienced was disrespect (56%), verbal abuse (49%) and neglect (33%)”. Shocking as it may seem but, according to the said report, the main abusers were the sons (57%) and daughters-in-law (38%). The average age of the abuser was 42 years.
A World Health Organization report cites six key categories of elder abuse, namely, “structural and societal, neglect and abandonment, disrespect and ageist attitudes, psychological, emotional and verbal abuse, physical abuse and legal and financial abuse”.
Political leaders and parties play a vital role in ameliorating the conditions of weaker sections and vulnerable segments of society, irrespective of their being in power or out of it.
It is a sad comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Modi-led ruling Party BJP that it has shown gross disrespect to their elders such as L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, founding leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and thousands of senior workers whom Modi-Amit Shah duo have reduced to limblessness.
Modi dreams of bringing India at par with advanced democracies like the USA, Canada, Australia. Laws of these democratic countries prohibit discrimination on the basis of age of a citizen.No senior citizen can be retired unless and until she/he wants it. In our country, the hypocrisy of the ruling party on social issues is in utter contrast to basic principles of democracy and deserves to be deplored in the strongest terms.