[MTC Global] Plight of the elderly --

Dear friends,

Good morning.



Plights of elderly people in India: Urgent remedial measures required for their welfare and safety - 

-- http://www.merinews.com/article/plights-of-elderly-people-in-india-urgent-remedial-measures-required-for-their-welfare-and-safety/15915820.shtml
Ageing is an inevitable process, so are the problems related to it. It is imperative on the part of a family, society and the government to look after elderly people in last phase of their life. Of late, in India, politicians and economists have been making laudatory references of India's two-third population's below or close to 30 years but unpleasant and difficult situation in which elderly population of 60 plus age is living seldom referred to. In India, majority of senior citizens are suffering from poverty, neglect and isolation.
Senior citizens are subjected to mental, physical and financial hardships and crime against them not only goes unnoticed but also ignored by the society as a whole. Majority of the elderly people are being deprived of their rights of health care and social welfare. Sadly, this is not only happening in India but it is almost worldwide phenomena. Meanwhile, it is also expected that number of older people in less developed countries is likely to increase more than 250 per cent as compared to 70 per cent in the developed countries by the year 2050.
With regard to India, according to 2001 census, there were 7.7 crore senior citizens (60+), 3.8 crore males and 3.9 females, constituting 7.5 per cent of total population, and comprising 3.8 per cent males and 3.9 per cent females. The percentage of elderly people in total population was highest in Keralaand Andaman and Nicobar     had the lowest share of senior citizens.  Meanwhile,   Lok Sabha was informed (March 10, 2015) that as per census 2011, there were 10.38 crore senior citizens in India. According to some estimates number of older people in India was expected to increase to 250 million in 2050.    
In Focus
In India welfare and interests of elderly people (60+) at the government level are looked after by the Ministry of Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, which is the nodal ministry for this purpose in the country.  In 1999 National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP) was formulated to ensure the well-being of older persons. There is also National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) to oversee the implementation of policy and programmes for the aged persons. In addition, in 2007 Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens was also enacted to ensure need based maintenance for parents and senior citizens and their welfare.
Some other ministries at the central level had also launched several schemes for the welfare of older people, including old age pensions and health schemes, old age home, income tax relief, travelling concession, police protection and day care centers of older people. Above all, there are some Constitutional Provisions, including Article 41 and 47, which   cover the welfare for the older people. Likewise, in States the welfare of older people is taken care by concerned departments.
Government aided NGOs are also active throughout India to look after welfare of elderly people in the country.  Meanwhile, judiciary is also proactive in safeguarding legitimate legal rights of senior citizens and had been pronouncing judgments keeping the welfare of the elderly people in view. The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1973's section 125(1) also binds adult children to provide monthly allowance for the maintenance of their father and mother. The Bombay High Court in a landmark judgment had also observed (February 8, 2012) that adult children need parents' written approval to stay in personal property of their parents. 
Despite such welfare provisions, the condition of senior citizens in India is not boasting and in some cases is even deplorable. This is mainly attributed to several socio-economic factors, like changing social structure, impact of urbanization, erosion of traditional institutions and values, weakening of traditional families, disintegration of joint families, adverse influence of modernization, and growing trend of nuclear and duel career families. Moreover, health problems, particularly disabilities in old age, economic problems especially economic dependence and psychological problems such as depression, childlessness and changing values further compound the problems being faced by a majority of elder people in India. 
According to a study, conducted by Helpage India, a prominent NGO caring for elders in the country, about 66 per cent of elderly people were financially dependent on others; 85 per cent elderly people were dependent for medical treatment; 75 per cent were dependent for daily living; 31 per cent needed assistance from anyone for daily routine activities and 52 per cent were dependent on daughter- in -law.
More than 81 per cent of the elderly people were dependent on their son, 14 per cent on daughter and 12 per cent on daughter-in-law. Meanwhile, more than one third of elderly people face abuses including 37 per cent of emotional abuse, 36 per cent of showing disrespect and 35 per cent economic abuses.  Also more than 72 per cent elders feel neglected sometimes and 17 per cent feel neglected daily.  While 22 per cent elders have experienced any type of abuse, abuse by daughter-in-law was reported most in Delhi, followed by Hyderabad   and Bhopal.  
Regrettably, 98 per cent of elders reportedly did not file complaint against abuse(s) faced by them. Out of every 10 elderly couples in India, more than 6 are forced by their children to leave their homes. There are 11 lakh elderly people in Delhi itself and 40 per cent of them are living without children. 
Meanwhile, fraud and crime against senior citizens in India, particularly in metro cities is   on rise.   In 2014, 85 per cent elders in Nagpur and 75 per cent in Bangalore were abused, whereas 65 per cent elders in India face neglect and abuse. In Delhi, crime against elderly people is four times more than in Mumbai and double than that of Bangalore and 52 per cent of elders in Delhi were facing harassment for property (27 per cent in South Delhi and 20 per cent in Central Delhi). 
In 2014 a total of 1142 elderly people were murdered in India, maximum 171 in Tamil Nadu and 170 in Uttar Pradesh, a total of 349 cases of attempt to murder of elderly people were registered in 2014 (again maximum 64 cases in Tamil Nadu). A total of 1,069 cases of grievous hurt of elderly people were reported during 2014. 1,184 cases of robbery under crime against senior citizens were in the same year. About 64 per thousand elderly persons in rural areas and 55 per thousand in urban areas suffer from one or more disabilities and most of them are left unattended. 
Some remedial measures are urgently required to be taken for the welfare, safety and security of elderly people. These included mass awareness about problems being faced by the elders; more involvement of younger generation in welfare schemes for senior citizens; increase in safety measures at residence including compulsory registration of people working at home at the nearest police station and neighborhood watch system; establishment of fast track courts for senior citizens; and more effectively implementation of central and state schemes for the welfare of elderly people.

With regards,

Dr. K. Sampath Kumar,  B.A. (Economics), BGL, M.Com., M.Phil., Cert. A.I.I.B.,
MBA (Finance), MBA (HR & Marketing),  ACS, FCMA, Ph. D.,
, SSN School of Management
C/o. SSN College of Engineering
Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR)

Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India
Landline :  044-24860668
Mobile    :  9094405733
Success consists of getting up
just one more time than you fall
-- Oliver Goldsmith



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