The national capital Delhi is comparatively a safer city for the elderly, whereas cities like Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai are the worst cities for the elderly, states a survey report released by HelpAge India on Wednesday in Mumbai. The nationwide survey pointed out that one out of two elders experience mistreatment and abuse in public places across India.
According to the survey, ‘How India Treats its Elderly’, conducted in 19 cities, 23 per cent old elderly people in Delhi experienced abuse in public spaces. Bengaluru turned out to be the highest perpetrator with 70 per cent elders experiencing abuse and mistreatment in public places, followed by Hyderabad (60 per cent), Guwahati (59 per cent) Kolkata (52 percent), Chennai (49 per cent) and Mumbai (33 per cent).
The survey was based on the interviews of 4,615 senior citizens in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Shillong. The survey report released in Mumbai on Wednesday to mark ‘World Elder Abuse Awareness Day’ on June 15 showed that nationally, around 50 per cent elders face abuse at home while 44 per cent experience abuse in public places. Sadly, 64 per cent of the elderly surveyed feel that people easily get away with being rude and mistreating senior citizens.
Releasing the survey, HelpAge Mumbai Director Prakash Borgaonkar said that the majority of elders complained of being abused and mistreated by their sons and daughters-in-law. “In most of these cases, elders have reportedly experienced abuse and mistreatment for property,” added Borgaonkar.
Around 53 per cent elders feel they are discriminated against in Indian society, 61 per cent elders feel people get impatient with them, since they are slow. Meanwhile, 52 per cent elders surveyed feel that people are rude to them if they are not well dressed. According to HelpAge, this is the first time the NGO has conducted a survey on elders abused and mistreated in public places.
HelpAge CEO Mathew Cherian said, “Elders’ abuse is a sensitive topic and over the past few years, we have been studying and researching abuse of elders within closed doors of one’s home. We have surveyed the elders’ perspective as well as the youth perspective. This year we decided to move out of the home into the much broader area of public spaces.”