Property dispute and mal adjustments among family members have led to abuse of elders in Bangalore. As much as 57 per cent of the calls to the Elders Helpline (1090) pertain to these intra-familial issues. Since its inception in 2002, the Elders Helpline has so far handled about 1.07 lakh calls.
The Nightingales Medical Trust operates the Elders Helpline with the assistance of the Bangalore Police.
Managing Trustee of Nightingales Medical Trust Radha K. Murthy attributes intra-familial elder abuse to property disputes. “We are trying to create awareness among the elderly citizens to be careful while handling property related issues. We also tell them that it is imperative that they remain economically independent.”
According to Ms. Radha Murthy, the helpline received 88 complaints pertaining to property last year, and it has shot up to 188 this year.
Besides intra-familial abuse, the elders in Bangalore also face abuse while dealing with building owners or tenants or neighbours. “Cheating in chit funds or other financial instruments has also been reported to Elders Helpline.”
Many elders have sought help in tackling some civic issues also, she said, adding that elderly men outnumber women callers.
She admitted that there is lack of awareness among elders about their rights and the provisions under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007.
“In many cases, to protect the family honour, elders do not come complain even when they are abused forward despite going through physical or emotional abuse,” she said.
Walk, street play
Ms. Radha Murthy was speaking on Saturday here at a function organised by the Elders Helpline 1090 to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day that will be observed on Sunday.
A booklet titled ‘Concessions and other useful information for senior citizens’ was released by the chairperson of Columbia Asia Hospitals Nandkumar Jairam.
As many as 150 volunteers and senior citizens participated in the awareness walk flagged off by the Director of the Department for Empowerment for Differently Abled and Senior Citizens, Jayavibhava Swamy. A street play highlighting how senior citizens are being abused in connection with property issues was also staged.