Pitiful plight at the hands of their children

Dark evening of life

Pitiful plight at the hands of their children

Krishnan, 85, a retired engineer, and his wife were forced out of their house by their daughter. She would torture them physically and mentally, forcing them to transfer Krishnan’s property to her name.

Abandoned by their daughter and thrown out of their own house, the Krishnans now live in the servant’s quarters.

Kumar, 65, from Kolar, also has had a similar fate. Their son, residing in Bangalore, forced the parents to move to the City, promising to take care of them. 

The property in Kolar was given on rent. Within two years of shifting to Bangalore, he started harassing his parents. Kumar had diabetes and hypertension, but his medicines were not given to him on time. The couple were not given enough food and almost every day, there would be some argument over the property.

Helpless, the couple had to move out of the house. They could not return to Kolar because of the embarrassment they would face. Their daughter has given them shelter, but there is no permanent solution in sight.

Steep increase

As per the data released by Elders Helpline and Nightingale’s Trust on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, there has been a steep increase in the number of cases of abuse of elderly citizens in Bangalore. 

There have been 347 cases registered regarding harassment of senior citizens in 2014, compared with 184 last year, of which 188 were complaints made against family members.

“Most cases we get are filed against family members. Nowadays, the focus is more on children and the elderly are ignored. They are no longer respected in the family,” said Dr Radha Murthy, managing trustee, Nightingales. 

The elderly being harassed by the public or private agencies (109 cases) and abused by individuals (50 cases) are the other common types of abuse that senior citizens have to face. 

Against family pride

About 40 per cent of the senior citizens in the City have experienced some sort of abuse, physical or emotional, but most cases go unreported. The elderly hesitate to approach anybody outside the family for help as it would go against their family pride.

“Most of the elderly are worried about the repercussions if they approach an outside party to solve their problems. So, they become silent sufferers,” says Radha.

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act states that every elderly citizen shall be entitled to food, clothing, residence, medical attention and treatment. 

But the lack of awareness about this Act is another reason why there is an increase in the cases of abuse. 

“We must sensitise the public about these issues and build a support system for the elderly,” said Radha.

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