NEW DELHI: Around 30% of senior citizens in Indian national capital face abuse in one form or another, a survey has claimed, Indian media reported on Sunday.
What's worse, over 75% of those facing abuse did not report the matter to police to protect the family honour or for other reasons, the survey by NGO HelpAge India claimed.
Over 5,600 people were interviewed across 20 cities in India, including Delhi (NCR), by the foundation which released a report of its findings here recently.
The nationwide survey showed that Bhopal (77%) and Guwahati (60.55%) top an ignominious list of cities where senior citizens face more abuse. The survey found Shimla and Jaipur recorded the lowest figures of elder abuse (2.99 and 1.67% respectively).
Of those interviewed in the NCR region, nearly 63% felt that elderly abuse was prevalent in Indian society. Another worrying statistic revealed by the survey is that over 50% of those abused had been facing it for more than five years, while 35% of those abused said they faced it almost on a daily basis.
Lack of adjustment and economic dependence were two of the key reasons behind abuse, the survey claimed.
A majority of those abused cited neglect and disrespect as the most common forms of abuse they faced, the report said.
Surprisingly, in 60% of the cases, the son was found responsible for perpetrating the abuse, while the daughter-in-law was guilty in 24% of the cases.
Over 43% of those interviewed said they were aware of the police helpline set up specifically to deal with elderly abuse. The survey revealed that only 7% of the respondents in Delhi were aware of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, under which the elderly can seek redress.
A majority of those interviewed said sensitisation of children in schools was important in tackling the issue, while a few stated economic independence of the elderly was essential to reduce abuse.