A non-governmental organisation has formed self-help groups of elderly women and taught them ways to support themselves. The beneficiaries run ‘tiffin' centres and live with dignity.

Some of the elderly women also support their out-of-job children. Their age was no deterrent when the SHG members participated in an awareness rally on elder abuse at the Marina Beach here on Wednesday.

The women, mostly over the age of 60, have had unpleasant experiences at home at one time or the other. But they have gained confidence to rebuild their lives.

The Young Women Christian Association has helped women in Otteri, Santhosh Nagar, K.M. Garden and Nehru Nagar and neighbouring localities through the SHGs.

Susheela Antony, 62, of Sathyavani Muthu Nagar, Otteri, and N. Ambika, 65, of K.M. Garden have set up their own ‘tiffin' centres. Quite a few women continue to work as domestic helps also. But 85-year-old Theresa, who works as a domestic help, wants her son to be kind to her. “I have BP… unable to do much work,” she says.

The rally was organised by HelpAge India to raise awareness about elder abuse. Other participants included residents of Guild of Service's Meals on Wheels and Mercy Home.

Keywords: elder abuse