Abuse of senior citizens: Mumbai second last in list of 23 cities surveyed
Report adds cases of elderly abuse in Mumbai have fallen drastically — 38% in 2014Updated: Jun 15, 2018, 16:07 IST
As compared to the national average of 25%, cases of senior citizens from Mumbai reporting abuse stood at 13%. The statistics were revealed following a survey done by HelpAge India to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15.
The report adds that cases of elderly abuse in Mumbai have fallen drastically — 38% in 2014 . Mumbai ranks second last in the list 23 cities where 5,014 elders were interviewed. Mangalore tops the list with 47% cases of elderly abuse.
“One of the reason why the cases reported in Mumbai is lower is because it has a cosmopolitan approach and there are more nuclear families owing to smaller apartments. But when you compare it to smaller cities, it is easier to travel back home or live with parents, which is why the numbers there could be higher,” said Kamla Srivastava, deputy director, HelpAge India.
Another aspect the survey brought forth was that only 0.5% elderly in the city availed benefits under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act (MWPSC), 2007. The act states children and heirs are legally obliged to provide maintenance to their parents in the form of monthly allowance.
“It has been observed that though an act is in place, a lot of senior citizens don’t know about it, which is why implementation is a problem. However, some of them also chose not to make use of it fearing that they may have to face their children later, who will not treat them well,” said Sandeep Naik, lawyer.
The national trend for elderly abuse changes every year, with 52% of elderly stating their sons abused them the most followed by daughter-in-law (34%). But those in Mumbai, who reported abuse, 54% said that they were abused by daughter-in-law while 32% blamed their son.
“Eventually, it has been observed that elderly understand that unless their son doesn’t let his wife mistreat his parents, she can’t do that. But what’s striking is that elderly are abused by their near one’s and not someone from the society,” said Prakash Borgaonkar, director, HelpAge India.
However, Sheilu Sreenivasan, founder-president, Dignity Foundation, said they received at least five calls daily from the elderly saying that they have been abused.
“One cannot really say whether Delhi reports higher number of abuse or Mumbai, but the implementation of MWPSC Act is higher in Madhya Pradesh followed by Delhi, as compared to Maharashtra,” said Sreenivasan.