On 6th June, Shri A K Singh (IPS Commissioner of Police) along with other dignitaries introduced a helpline number for senior citizens held by Dignity Foundation with the objective of assisting senior citizens facing abuse.

A report presented by HelpAge India estimates that out of 6.50 lakh senior citizens living in Ahmedabad, 1.50 lakh Senior Citizens were recorded to face Elder Abuse. Out of 100 million Senior Citizens living in India, the Report quotes a whopping 65% face neglect by kin, while one-third are subject to physical or verbal violence even as they struggle to keep up with the changing social milieu and challenges pertaining to their health and financial well-being. One out of 10 elderly people in the country are subjected to some form of abuse, be it verbal, physical, emotional or otherwise, after turning 60, revealed survey.

Symposium was addressed by Shri Anup Kumar Singh, IPS, CP of Ahmedabad City, Gujarat Police, Dr. Yogesh Maitrek (Director, UCD), Dr. Pradeep Prajapati (Dean, Gujarat University), Dr. Sheila Sreenivasan (Founder President, Dignity Foundation and Social Worker) Shri K. Nithyanandam, IPS (Retired) Shri Ravi Karnavat (Advocate) and Shri. Piyush Desai, Chairman, Hugh Bakri Tea Glow & Chief Patron, Ahmedabad Chapter of Dignity Foundation. Two real-life cases of Elder Abuse made their presence felt among the audience. A survey-based study of 2480 Senior Citizens living in 6 Wards of AMC was conducted, informs Dr. Prajapati, ” Surprisingly, 56% of respondents are females.”

As per Shri Anup Kumar Singh, it is important to examine the Act of 2007 specially passed for granting maintenance money to the abused, what are the inherent lacunae in the Act, what is the utilitarian value of such a legislation. He also said that the police department is always there to support senior citizens and he himself looks after the matter with great concern.

The objectives for setting up the Helpline are:

  1. To run a responsive Social Support system for older persons subjected to Elder Abuse, employing Global best practices to handle abuse
  2. To rescue and protection from physical violence from within and outside the family.
  3. To offer help and assistance during emergencies.
  4. To provide information about shelter for the abandoned old.
  5. To seek police assistance to keep in check abuser.
  6. To provide psychological and emotional support through trained counselors.

By Saloni Vora

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