Mangaluru: In connection with knee jerk reaaction to the comments from various quarters on the ‘Elder Abuse in India-2018’ survey, NGO HelpAge India asserted that they stood by their study.
“We do not in any way wish to show any city in bad light,” said Mathew Cherian, chief executive officer, HelpAge.
“It’s an attempt to highlight the violence within the family, especially the elders, and we wish to transform the society into a loving and caring one for parents and children,” he added.
After the survey report was published, many in Mangaluru took exception to it as it stated that elderly people in Mangaluru face the maximum abuse in the country.
Around 5,015 elderly people from 23 cities across the country were part of the study. Mangaluru reported 47% of abuse with senior citizens complaining of harassment of different forms. The other cities were Ahmedabad (46%), Bhopal (39%), Amritsar (35%), Delhi (33%), Kanpur (30%), Chennai (27%), Bengaluru (26%), Hyderabad (24%) and Kolkata (23%). The most common forms of abuse experienced by elder people were disrespect, verbal abuse, neglect, economic exploitation and physical assault such as beating and slapping. Elderly people appear to be safe in cities like Jammu (12%), Mumbai (13%), Vizag (13%), Kochi (15%) and Guwahati (17%).
U T Khader, minister for urban development and housinga and district minister, also took exception to the survey report saying that he was surprised to know that the organization has given such a negative report on Mangaluru. Khader said: “We have to go through the report in detail. In addition, the organization should provide necessary evidence to substantiate their report.”
HelpAge India stated that the clusters where the survey was done were: Kadri, Kavoor, Kudroli, Kulai, Kunjathbailu, Kuntikana, Neermarga, Pumpwell, Santhoshnagara and Yeyyadi.
“In order to ascertain the reliability of the data following validation was done: Multiple indicators from different sections of questionnaires were picked up for validation such as age distribution, family size, penetration of internet, ownership of smart phone, users of social media and compared with Census data and other reports available in public domain,’’ said Cherian.
He also noted that for the pertinent indicators like ‘who ever faced elder abuse’ was checked with past reports and other secondary sources and the trends compared with the available data. “However, reporting on elder abuse varies depending on social and cultural factors like - how normalized the local community is about the issue and discuss/accept it openly, whether as a community they are introvert/extrovert and those who see it through pure social/cultural prism, will be more closed, etc. Consistency/logical check on all indicators were conducted and found in sync with each other,’’ he added.
A senior citizen living in a ’high profile’ (read as ’high cost’) gave a statement that : " Whatever the parameters/results of the survey in question, there must be fire - for no smokes comes without a fire. Actually, many of the NGOs working for the Elders, along with the 1090 help line and such are rather inactive and careless; and only fend for them selves conducting song and hip hopping. The concerned department which has no space for ’Sr Citizens’ and is only for ’women & children’. It is essential to have a separate department for the aged, at all levels. People are demanding dedicated Ministry/department for cows, but no one cares to demand for separate Ministry/department for the aged and sick. To some extent it is true not only in Mangalore but in many places that elders suffer at the hands of young people in command at home/institutions. But, also one very vital area, which is totally unregulated and without any ground rules are ’Homes for the Aged’ in our region. Specially those community/religion centered. They have no regulations/rules or Bye-laws laid down, no proper administrations. Those who dangle money, gifts and influence get much; while others are ignored/neglected. The so called in-house medical care is a scam and a hazard to health. These are super charged with commercialism and corruption. Let there be a local high power committee to study/survey and report. Expressed here is only tip of the ice berg". he said.