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Delhi fifth: Survey, Mangalore reports most cases of elder abuse

Delhi is among the top five Indian cities reporting high percentages of elderly abuse with 33 percent of the elderly population being treated poorly, a new survey has noted.

According to the 23 city report by HelpAge India released Thursday, the maximum amount of abuse happens in Mangalore (47 percent), followed by Ahmedabad (46 per cent), Bhopal (39 per cent) and Amritsar (35 percent).

The study that aimed at understanding the extent, depth, form, frequency and reasons behind such abuse, revealed that nearly one-fourth of the elderly population experienced abuse personally, and often the main abusers were either sons (52 per cent) or daughters-in-law (34 percent).

“Unfortunately, elder abuse starts at home and from whom they trust the most.

“This year the son has turned out to be the foremost perpetrator, followed by the daughter-in-law who normally is perceived as the primary abuser as per past surveys,” Mathew Cherian, CEO, HelpAge India, said.

Another finding of the report underlined how 82 percent of the abused elderly do not report the matter to either “maintain the confidentiality of family matter” (52 percent) or “do not know how to deal with the problem” (34 percent).

The latter suggests their lack of awareness, the report noted.

According to the elders participating in the survey, sensitization of children and strengthening inter-generational bonding is the way forward.

“38 per cent elders feel the most effective way to deal with elder abuse is to sensitize children. Another way of tackling this increasing generation gap between the young and the old, is bridging this technology gap and empowering our elders,” Rohit Prasad, Chief Operating Officer, HelpAge India, said.

Joining hands in the fight against elder abuse, the organization, along with 300 senior citizens from across the national capital, will hold a candlelight march on Friday at Parliament Street in Delhi.

The charitable organisation also runs a toll-free helpline for elders to be able to reach out for help in case of instances of abuse.

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