As the population ageing continues as a major demographic change around the world, the numbers of older people or senior citizens keep rising. While traditionally, older people are an important part of families in India, the situation has been changing rapidly in recent years. In the multi-generation homes of many Indians, older people have to face neglect, discrimination and abuse. This is a result of pressing economic challenges, wakening of inter-generational bonds and migration related issues.
Most of the abuse against older people is domestic and remains confined behind the walls of the homes, and hence are not reported. Older women are particularly impacted. Many of the older people never raise their vices against it due to lack of self-confidence.
To address the issues, Government of India had approved Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act (MWPSC) in 2007. The Act has strong regulations to address older people’s needs and legal measures to prevent abuse against elderly. The Act is new and will take time to realize changes. Currently, the situation of older people discriminated and abused remains to be a serious problem nationwide.
Ageing is an important priority of GRAVIS’ work in India. On the World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), June 15th 2017, GRAVIS will organize rallied and meetings to raise awareness on the issue. Older and younger people from different walks of life will take part in those events. Over the years, GRAVIS has been making efforts to sensitize the younger generation on this aspect and to strengthen the inter-generational bond.
Older people are an important part of any society. They offer the knowledge and wisdom for the communities to grow and prosper. At the stage of life when they are physically weaker and are in need, they deserve full attention, support and respect. We hope that the efforts made by us and by other organizations on the WEAAD, bring a change with more dignity and respect for older people.
*by GRAVIS team