Senior citizens’ murder in Mumbai: Most elderly people don’t call the helpline
The helpline for senior citizens (103) witnessed a dip in the number of calls, to 17 in 2017 from 146 in 2016.Updated: Jun 22, 2018 18:23 IST
In 2017, around 6% of India’s elderly population of more than 70 lakh faced abuse, according to the Indian Medical Association (IMA). The National Crime Records Bureau’s research showed Maharashtra (4,694 cases) and Mumbai (1,218) topped the list of crimes against senior citizens across states and cities in India in 2016, respectively.
A case in point: An elderly couple aged 85 and 71 was found murderedin their plush 3-BHK Khar apartment on Thursday morning.
Still, the helpline for senior citizens (103) witnessed a dip in the number of calls, to 17 in 2017 from 146 in 2016. How is this possible? Thanks to the lack of awareness that the special helpline, Elderline (1090), has been merged with the main control room (103), according to police sources.
As a separate helpline, Elderline got 650-700 calls a month, which have now come down to four-five calls, claim officers. “Many senior citizens don’t know about the special number. Of late, we have not publicised the helpline much. We will start our awareness campaign through advertisements in movie theatres soon,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15), the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report stating more than 12 crore people across the world are above the age of 60 years, of which six per cent are victims of some kind of abuse. In 2016, Maharashtra stood third in murders (169) of the elderly, after Uttar Pradesh (188) and Tamil Nadu (171), according to the NCRB.
A senior IPS officer from Mumbai police said safety of senior citizens is a priority, with measures such as ‘one cop one society’ reducing crime. “Most senior citizens in Mumbai dial emergency number 100, instead of 103, even though the emergency number is constantly busy,” said the officer.
Aruna Anand, chief operating officer (COO) of Dignity Foundation, an NGO for senior citizens, said they have a separate helpline (022-61381111) to address the issues of the elderly, “We maintain the helpline and also create awareness among the elderly about it,” said Anand.
First Published: Jun 22, 2018 12:29 IST