Senior citizens are the worst victims of crime by domestic helps in the Capital. But very few register themselves with the Senior Citizens’ Security Cell of Delhi Police.
“Despite concerted efforts of Delhi Police through advertisements in newspapers and other measures, a large number of senior citizens have not come forward to register themselves…” Delhi government’s social welfare department said in an affidavit filed in response to a public interest litigation on problems faced by senior citizens.
“Many senior citizens who are already registered do not appreciate the visits of beat/division staff...” it told the Supreme Court.
Citing analysis of heinous crimes against senior citizens since the inception of the cell, the government said, “out of 144 cases, only in three were the victims registered with” police.
“Thus, the senior citizens who are registered (with the cell) are far safer than those who are either living alone and are not registered or are living with their families.”
The senior citizens’ cell is present in all 11 police districts in the Capital under the direct supervision of an additional commissioner of police.
Petitioner Brig (Retd) JS Bawa has demanded a special grievance redressal cell to address the problems of senior citizens in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
He said there was an urgent need to set up “round-the-clock help lines which should act as a one-stop counter” to attend to problems they encounter.
Bawa’s counsel Shomona Khanna complained to the court on Thursday that there was no provision to take care of old people without heirs or indigent persons under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
She said in a large number of cases senior citizens were left to fend for themselves after their children disown them.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan has agreed to take up the petition for final disposal.
Authorities did not act when people tried to take over their property and even for drawing pension, the elderly had to run from pillar to post, Bawa said.