21 July 2014

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Agewell Foundation Majority Indian senior citizens face misbehaviour, mistreatment in old age

Agewell Foundation Majority Indian senior citizens face misbehaviour, mistreatment in old age

A new study done by the Agewell Foundation, which works for the welfare and empowerment of the elderly, showed that one third of affected elderly put mistreatment or misbehaviour as the most common form of abuse faced by them.

For the study, the Foundation included 50,000 elderly persons from 300 districts across the country. 

In  India,  despite  several  laws,  policies and  schemes  for  the  welfare  and
Empowerment of older persons, elderly human rights violation is on the rise.
Majority of older persons face harassment within their own houses in the hands of their
Own family members.

It has been observed that “Old Age” in modern India is being treated like a Curse. That?s why older persons don’t raise their voices against any Form of elder abuse. They accept it is as a part of bitter part of their life.

in  India  older  generations  are  not aware  of  their  human  rights  due  to  high
prevalence of illiteracy and lack of awareness. On the other hand, due to comparatively high
physical as well as psychological vulnerability their cries for help remain within four-walls,
That?s why only a few cases of violation of human rights of elderly come out.

Elder  abuse,  mistreatment  and  torture  of older  people  are  a  manifestation  of  the
Timeless phenomenon of interpersonal violence is prevalent in India.  Still, there is
No systematic collection of statistics or prevalence studies, crime records,
Journalistic reports, social welfare records and studies to provide evidence on existence
Of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of elders.

Being mistreated, verbally abused, and denied proper food, proper medication and
care  by  younger  members  of  family,  most older  people  are  indeed  in  a  very  helpless
Situation.  With eroding social values in India, cases of elder abuse and mistreatment
In every neighborhood are daily routine.

With  nuclear  family  further  getting  reduced to  single  parent  family,  increasing  number
of  old  people  have  to  head  towards  the  Old Age  Homes.  In a still developing country
Like India, there is no guarantee that they are not experiencing severe abuse in Old Age
Homes as well.

The  statutory provision  for  maintenance  of  parents  under Hindu  personal  law  is  contained  in  Sec  20  of the  Hindu  Adoption  and  Maintenance  Act, 1956. This Act is the first personal law statute in  India,  which  imposes  an  obligation  on  the children  to  maintain  their  parents.  As  is evident  from  the  wording  of  the  section,  the obligation  to  maintain  parents  is  not  confined to sons only, and daughters also have an equal duty  towards  parents.  It  is  important  to  note that  only  those  parents  who  are  financially unable  to  maintain  themselves  from  any source, are entitled to seek maintenance under this Act.

Older persons are emotionally abused by Intimidation through yelling or threats,
humiliation  and  ridicule,  habitual  blaming  or scapegoat,  ignoring  the elderly person,  isolating an elder from  friends  or  activities,  terrorizing  or menacing the elderly person, etc. Ignoring health conditions of elderly, financial exploitation of elderly, sexual abuse are found as other major forms of elderly abuse.  Major Consequences

Survey Findings –

Kind of elder abuse suffered by elderly respondents

a)Misbehave /Mistreatment
b)Restricted social life
c)Abuse/mental torture
d)Denial of basic needs
e)Physical harassment /Assault
f)Other form of harassment

When  the  elderly  respondents  were  asked  about  the  type  of  their  current
residence,  it  was  found  that  more  than  2/3rd   elderly  people  (68.3%)  have
Ancestral house, where they live. Out of 44187 elderly people living in their
own  houses,  30171  elderly  respondents  were  residing  in  their  ancestral houses.

Only  31.7%  elderly  respondents  (14016  out  of  44187  living  in  their  own

Houses) were living in self-acquired houses.

When  volunteers  asked  older  persons  about  their  net-worth  value,  it  was
found  that  94.41%  elderly  respondents  have  their  own  house/land  property
somewhere  in  their  name,  while  only  5.59%  elderly  said  that  they  have  no
House or land property in their name anywhere.

56.6%  elderly  respondents  (65.8%  elderly  men  and  48.1%  elderly  women)
Claimed that they have to face harassment / mistreatment due to housing in
Old age.  Out of 50000 elderly respondents interviewed during the survey,
28295  older  persons  said  that  they  face  harassment  /  mistreatment  due  to
Housing. Even though many of them are the owners of their property.

6.5%  elderly  respondents  (26.7%  elderly  men  and  26.2%  elderly  women)
accepted  that  they  are  being  harassed  by  their  family  members  due  to
Housing/shelter.  Out of 50000 13231 elderly respondents said that their
family  members  are  somehow  causing  trouble  in  their  life  due  to  their

Most of the elderly respondents were suffering from harassment in old age
Due to their daughter/s-in law and their son/s.    54.62% elderly respondents
We’re being harassed/mistreated by their daughter/s-in-law and daughter/s in
Law & son/s both due to house/land properties.

29.11% elderly respondents were found harassed/mistreated by their
Daughter/s-in-law while 25.51%    elderly respondents were being
Harassed/mistreated by their daughter/s-in-law and son/s both.

23.12% elderly respondents reportedly acknowledged that they are being
harassed  by  their  son/s  only,  while  for  17.44%  elderly  respondents  their
grand-children  were  main  cause  of  house/real  estate  related  harassment  /

Only  4.81%  elderly  respondents  claimed  that  they  had  to  face  harassment
and  mistreatment  in  old  age  due  to  others  including  their  neighbors  who
We’re doing this due to elderly respondents? real estate/house property

Out  of  13231  elderly  respondents  suffering  from  elder  abuse  due  to  their
House/land properties    3029 older persons reportedly said that their son/s
Harass them.  3852 older persons said that their daughter/s-in-law and 3375
Older persons said that their son/s and daughter/s-in-law both harass them

Elderly men were found facing harassment and mistreatment because of
their  house/land  properties  by  their  son/s  in  more  cases  in  comparison  to
Elderly women.  24.22% elderly men hold their son/s responsible for
Harassment/mistreatment while 22.08% elderly women were of the view that
Their son/s is/are harassing them.

Elderly women were found facing comparatively higher cases of harassment
and  mistreatment  due  to  their  house/land  property  with  the  hands  of  their
Daughter/s-in-law. 29.32% elderly women blame their daughter/s-in-law for
Harassment/mistreatment in old age while 28.9% elderly women were of the
View that their daughter/s-in-law are harassing / mistreating them.

When Agewell volunteers, deputed as interviewers asked elderly
Respondents, who were suffering elder abuse or had ever faced elder abuse in
Their life, about most common form of elder abuse, it was found that every
Third elderly person (36.94% of overall affected elderly) stated
Misbehave/mistreatment as most common form of elder abuse. Out of 28295
affected  elderly  respondents,  10452  older  persons  ranked  this  as  most
Common form of elder abuse.

Survey suggests that every fifth elderly (20.09% i.e.  5684 out of 28295
elderly  respondents)  were  affected  due  to  restrictions  in  their  social  life  by
Their family members or others.  According to them restricted social life is
Ranked most common form of elder abuse by 5684 elderly respondents.

When data obtained during the survey further tried to look into the financial
Status of financial self-dependent elderly respondents, it was found
that  only  29.26%  elderly respondents    (45.85% elderly  men  &  8.39% elderly  women)  had  actual control  over  their  finances. Only 8688 elderly respondents out of 29693 elderly respondents accepted that they manage their finances as per their choice.

70.74% elderly respondents have only partial or no control over
Their finances. Almost half of the financial self-dependent elderly (48.38%)
have  no  control  over  their  money  and  their  family  members  have  actual control on their financial income. Out of 29693, 14364 respondents claimed that  they  could  not  manage  their  money  matters  or  mostly  because  their family members/relatives don’t let them control their money.

Almost  every  third  elderly  (34.3%)  had  no  access  to  safe,  affordable
Accessible and sustainable transport facility.

81.03% elderly respondents don’t find road transport facilities elderly Friendly.

Out of 50000 elderly respondents, only 37103 getting proper  nutritious  enough  food  in  old  age,  while  12897  elderly  people  are Deprived from getting proper food.

Even 42.83% older persons (21414 out of  50000  elderly  respondents) reportedly  said  that  they  are  not getting  safe  drinking  water  currently. Out of them almost half elderly
respondents?  had  never  got  safe drinking  water  as  majority  of  them were  dependent  on  natural/traditional source of drinking water.

27% older respondents had no access to proper medicine/healthcare facility.  In
Rural areas 28.3% elderly respondents and 25.5% urban elderly respondents
We’re not getting proper healthcare facilities.

13.25% elderly respondents (6624 out of 50000 elderly) said that they have
No/less respect and/or no say in family matters, which disturb them a lot.


A - Ajmer, Rajasthan
“It hurts me a lot when people don’t listen to me carefully and take my views and
Comments lightly. Even police had ignored our complaints & requests when I
Approached them for help.  People think that Old People have no work to do, but to
Complain about everything all the time.”

b- Nagpur, Maharashtra
“My family members often restrict my visit to village.  During family functions they
Don’t allow me to interact with guests & relatives and keep me busy with household
Chores.  After death of my husband, I am living just like a maid in my own house.”

c- Chennai
“I have no space for me in the house, which I have built with my own hard-earned money.  My daughter-in-law has occupied entire house gradually and forced me to stay at my daughter’s house. Whenever  I  go  to  my  house,  she misbehaves  with  me.  I am fed up with the harassment. That’s why I prefer to live in my daughter’s house.”

D-Mumbai, Maharashtra

“I have been facing emotional as well as physical harassment for many years.  My
son,  daughter-in-law  &  grand-children keep  me  locked  from  outside  whenever
They go out.  Sometimes,  even  for  long hours  I  have  to  live  in  prison-like
Conditions. They take away all my pension money as well.”

The concept of Human rights is not developed and not understood by majority Indians

Human rights are normally against the religion , what is bad in religion becomes the human right

Morals remain only in stories in reality something else happens exactly opposite to morals

India needs strong laws with accountability of Police, CBI all enforcement agencies should be accountable.

Source -  www.agewellfoundation.org

About Agewell –
Agewell Foundation, India is a not-for-profit NGO which has been working for the welfare and empowerment of older persons since 1999. Agewell has set up a two-tier network of over 7500 primary and 80000 secondary volunteers spread across 640 districts of India and interacts with over 25000 older persons on daily basis through its volunteers’ network.

Recognizing the work being done by Agewell Foundation ECOSOC has granted Special Consultative Status to Agewell Foundation at United Nations since 2011.  It is associated with Department of Public Information, United Nations (UN-DPI).

Reality views by sm –

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tags – Old Age Harassment India Agewell Foundation


Destination Infinity July 21, 2014  

Mostly, elders face problems from their own son, daughter, or in-laws. Many of them don't want to complain about it because they think that their family honour is at stake. The people who take advantage of helpless elders at home will eventually find themselves being abused by their own children. It will happen.

Destination Infinity

Bikram July 22, 2014  

I wish all the best to this NGO.. I feel angry when old people have to go through this .. such a shame