India's elderly suffer abuse silently: HelpAge report
Last Updated: 2011-06-15 10:58:47
Kolkata: India has over 90 million elderly persons above the age of 60 years and many of them, silently suffer abuse in the hands of either their daughters-in-law or sons, according to a survey report by HelpAge India.
The study, made public yesterday on the eve of the sixth World Elder Abuse awareness Day, has found that about 41 per cent felt that there has been an increase in the rate of crime against the elderly in the past three years.
"More than half of India's senior citizens surveyed feel that they are soft targets for crime," the report said.
HelpAge India is a leading humanitarian, development and campaign organisation working with and for older people in India for more than 30 years.
The World Elder Awareness Day evolved from its nascent stage in 1997 initiated by a small group in Australia, to becoming an issue that saw United Nations endorsing and making it a global concern.
At present, the UN recognises elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.
The grim fact, according to the report, is that 98 per cent of the elderly in India surveyed did not file any official complaint. "This showed that they are silently suffering abuse," it said.
The report found 63 per cent of daughters-in-law as the major abusers of the elderly, followed by the sons (44 per cent).