NEW DELHI — If you thought India is one of the few countries where the young respect their elders, it’s time for some reality check. HelpAge India has released a report titled ‘Elder Abuse - The Indian Youth Speaks Out’ on June 15, marking 'World Elder Abuse Awareness Day’.
The survey across 20 cities revealed that 73% of responders accepted that abuse of the elderly exists in society. One in three persons surveyed said they would do nothing about it.
Here’s a look at some of the shocking facts from the report:
- Across the country, 37% of the youths surveyed preferred to stay passive in the face of elderly abuse.
- 92% youths in Delhi are unlikely to take action against elderly abuse.
- Two out of three persons in Chennai said they would be unlikely to act against instances of elderly abuse.
- In Hyderabad, 45% of the youth population don’t care about elderly abuse.
- 29% youth in the country feel that ‘physical abuse and beating up’ is a common type of abuse.
- Among those surveyed, 61.2% feel ‘elders without spouse’ are more vulnerable to abuse.
- According to most in the country, the daughter-in-law is the primary abuser.
- 40% of women said they would not act to defend the old, as compared to 29% of men.
- Only 4% said they would report the case to the police.
- ‘Property and inheritance disputes’ emerges as the main reason for abuse at 53.2%.
- Respondents said most abusers were of ‘sound mind as well as sound health’. Clearly, elder abuse was intentional and voluntary.
- 34.7% said that they had noticed elder abuse among their relatives or family.
A large proportion of respondents also said elder abuse exists in public places such as nursing homes and homes for the elderly.
“What is surprising is that the Youth of today ARE aware of problem, they understand the reasons which precipitate abuse. They have clear solutions on how to avert abuse, but yet seem unwilling to Act. Take the case of Delhi where 85% of the youth admit Elder Abuse exists yet 92% say that they won’t Act to prevent it," said Manjira Khurana, Country Head, Advocacy & Communications, HelpAge India.
The 2014 report by HelpAge India said that half of India’s elderly (50%) surveyed reportedly experienced abuse. And, who were the culprits? Their own children. The report had said 77% lived with their families.
It seems nothing much has changed in the last one year.