A nationwide survey by the NGO HelpAge India has shown Bhopal as ranking first in elder abuse, followed by Guwahati, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.
Bangalore ranks seventh while Jaipur comes last.
The Karnataka DGP Lalrokhuma Pachuau, who released the report in Bangalore at the State Police Headquarters on Thursday, said the report was an eye-opener and warranted further examination.
The survey was conducted in 20 cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Patna, Chandigarh, Panaji, Ahmedabad, Shimla, Jammu, Kochi, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Puducherry, Jaipur, Chennai, Dehradun and Lucknow.
The report says that 77.12 per cent of elderly people in Bhopal are subjected to abuse. Guwahati comes next with 60.55 per cent and Lucknow is in third position with 52 per cent. In Bangalore, at least 37.14 per cent elderly people are subjected to harassment.
The report gives startling figures — at least 31 per cent of elders face abuses and 24 per cent face abuses almost daily. Most of the abuses, 56 per cent, are committed by sons and 26 per cent by daughters-in-law. In most cases, elderly people remain silent without reporting the incidents to anyone.
In a majority of cases, elders subjected to abuse do not even know that there is a police helpline available to them, and many of those who know about the services rarely use them, in order to protect ‘family honour’.
The study also shows that there is a rise in cases of elderly abuse in Delhi and Mumbai.
In this grim scenario, Jaipur and Shimla are a source for cheer, as abuse there amounts to only 1.67 per cent and 2.99 per cent, respectively.
While praising HelpAge India’s report, Pachuau has drawn attention to one specific group of elders — those staying alone.
Security for elders
“The safety and security of elderly couples living alone is surely a problem for the police,” Pachuau said. “We need to prepare a database on them, which contains their name, age location and other details. If this could happen, we will be able to arrange for their health, safety and security in a better way.”
The DGP has asked the NGO to conduct a survey of elderly people in the State, especially in Bangalore. He said there were many incidents of crime against home-alone elderly people. “They need to be given enough protection,” he said.