City’s elderly harassed and unsafe | delhi | Hindustan Times
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City’s elderly harassed and unsafe

The number of senior citizens registering themselves with the senior citizen cell of Delhi Police has increased over the years, reports Abhishek Bhalla.

delhi Updated: Dec 14, 2007 02:51 IST
Abhishek Bhalla

Delhi's neglected elderly feel unsafe living alone, police records suggest.

Not only have the number of senior citizens registering themselves with the senior citizen cell of Delhi Police increased over the years, the number of complaints received in the past year has also almost doubled.

Last year, the police received 239 complaints of harassment from senior citizens. That figure this year was already at 403 till November end. The police, however, admit that complaints were not just related to the safety of senior citizens.

“Our staff is in constant touch with people registered with us and register all complaints immediately. We have made efforts to ensure that our staff visits them and as a result of that the number of distress calls has reduced drastically,” said Rajan Bhagat, spokesman, Delhi Police. The police have received only 85 distress calls this year as compared with last year’s 386 calls. “Many of the complaints are not related to safety issues,” added Bhagat.

The number of people registered with the police has risen to 6,535 this year from 5,312 a year ago. In fact, last year’s figure had already been crossed in the first six months of the year.

Not only are they becoming easy prey of robbers, but they have also been victims of family and property disputes. Since 2004, 67 senior citizens have been killed in Delhi and this year the toll has reached 15, up from 12 last year.

Alarmingly, the elderly do not feel as threatened by strangers as they do by their own family. Family disputes top the list of reasons old people make distress calls for.