“Parents are concerned only about the education of their children. They have forgotten that it is also their duty to impart social and family values in the minds of children,” said Additional Commissioner of Police-Crime, Greater Chennai, Abhay Kumar Singh. Speaking at World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Programme and Release of HelpAge India’s Nationwide Report on Elder Abuse in India at the Office of Commissioner of Police, Egmore, on June 14, Mr. Abhay Kumar Singh said that the younger generation should respect elders.
The nationwide report on elder abuse was released by Abhay Kumar Singh, and the first copy was received by Dr. M. Ponnavaikko, Vice-Chancellor, SRM University.
“More and more senior citizens are moving into old-age homes as they are abandoned by their sons and daughter-in-laws. Now-a-days children do not want to take care of their dependent parents,” Mr. Abhay Kumar Singh added.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. M. Ponnavaikko said, “The main cause of the high prevalence of elder abuse in India is the influence of Western culture.” He urged the need for re-introduction of moral education in schools. “The need and practice of respecting and caring the elderly should be inculcated in the younger generation,” he added. “With life expectancy on the rise, India’s population of the elderly is steadily increasing. The collapse of the joint family system is the main cause for the present scenario,” said P. R. Anbazhakan, Director, HelpAge India, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
To protect the rights of the elderly, the Central Government brought a law in December 2007, which empowered them to proceed against their children legally if they do not treat them well. However, a majority of aged persons, citing family prestige as the main reason, prefer to keep quiet, he added.
The 2012 study on Elder Abuse in India was conducted in 20 cities. Around 77.12 per cent of senior-citizens in Bhopal were abused followed by Guwahati (60.55 per cent ) and Lucknow (52 per cent). Awareness should be created among school and college students on elder abuse in India and a robust social security system should be implemented which ensures income security to senior citizens, said Anbazhakan.
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