Old age is an irreversible biological phenomenon, one that eventually terminates with the end of the life of a human being. That is more like science but in our daily life, where attitudes, behavior, values, aesthetics rule there is more than can be defined of an old age. It is one experience that cannot be had otherwise. When the trails of experience and wisdom have made a lasting impression on the human himself, one can say he is never out of it. It is a gift which no one can refuse to take. But the transformations brought in our society sometimes make us scare of this stage as everyone of us has to face it one day. India is growing old! The stark reality of the ageing scenario in India is that there are 77 million older persons in India today, and the number is growing to grow to 177 million in another 25 years. With life expectancy having increased from 40 years in 1951 to 64 years today, a person today has 20 years more to live than he would have 50 years back. Old Age has never been a problem for India where a value based, joint family system is supposed to prevail. Indian culture is automatically respectful and supportive of elders. With that background, elder abuse has never been considered as a problem in India and has always been thought of as a western problem. However, the coping capacities of the younger and older family members are now being challenged and more often than not there is unwanted behavior by the younger family members, which is experienced as abnormal by the older family member but cannot however be labeled with this kind of an ageing scenario, there is pressure on all aspects of care for the older persons ± be it financial, health or shelter. As the twenty first century arrives, the growing security of older persons in India is very visible. It is hard to believe but old people are among the poorest in many societies and by far one of the most vulnerable sections of the society. Researches reveal that the old age has become more of an inevitable threat to an individual today. One reason for this irony could be, due to governments being prepared for the world¶s rapidly ageing population. Today we see many old aged people being abandoned, as their children prefer to live separately after marriage or leave their places to make good of their career. Living on God¶s mercy, they either live a downtrodden life till they die or get brutally murdered while fighting against the odds of life.

In India life expectancy has gone up from 20 years in the beginning of the 20th century to 62 years today. Better medical care and low fertility have made the elderly the fastest growing section of society. In France, it took 120 years for the grey population to double from 7 % to 14 %. But in India, the grey population has doubled in 25 years! India is still poised to become home to the second largest number of older persons in the world. Recent statistics related to elderly people in India,(according to census 2001), showed that as many as 75% of elderly persons were living in rural areas. About 48.2% of elderly persons were women, out of whom 55% were widows. A total of 73% of elderly persons were illiterate and dependent on physical labor. One-third was reported to be living below the poverty line, i.e., 66% of older persons were in a vulnerable situation without adequate food, clothing, or shelter. About 90% of the elderly were from the unorganized sector, i.e., they have no regular source of income. Our culture recognizes the status of the parents as that of God. So it is moral duty or obligation of children to maintain their parents. Maintenance of Parents is included in section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Also The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956 provide maintenance to elderly. Under these sections and acts parents can claim maintenance from their children. But some speedy, inexpensive process is needed and hence The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and senior Citizen Act, 2007 was enacted. Need for the legislation and some important sections are discussed in the article.

Need for the legislation:
Our culture stated status of parents as that of God through sayings like ³Matrudeo Bhava´, ³Pitrudeo Bhava´ etc. The famous ³Shravankumar¶s´ story which was stated in ³Ramayana´ establishes this fact. Our culture considers them as first teachers. The foundation of our life is built up by them. So children should take care of them, respect them. It should be the moral duty of children to maintain their parents. Our traditional values and norms lay stress on showing respect and providing care for the aged. In joint family system all members are cared by the family itself. But now a day¶s the concept of joint family system is withering away. And because of industrialization, money mind, increase in market prices children started neglecting their parents. Children have no time to look after their parents because of their busy schedule. And as a consequence of this situation the elders get neglected and they are now exposed to emotional neglect and to

9% in 2001 to 12. to ensure that these neglected parents are not left beggared and destituted on the scrap heap of society and thereby driven to a life of vagrancy. Because of this it is necessary to put some legal and moral obligation on children.4% in 2026 . . So there is need of a simple. And hence . effective and rather inexpensive remedy against persons who neglect or refuse to maintain their dependant parents. only Judicial Magistrates of First Class have been empowered to deal with such matters of maintenance. The Registrar General of India forecasts the share of older persons (age 60 years and above) in the total population to rise from 6.lack of physical and financial support. It may also be noted that as the exercise of powers to grant maintenance is of a judicial character. The maintenance of parents was included in section 125 of CrPC but the procedure is time consuming and expensive. Inexpensive and speedy procedure to claim maintenance by the suffering parents. The population of the older persons in India is continuously increasing. the law makers created provision for maintenance of parents and senior citizens as a duty upon their children under the section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC) MAIN PROVISIONS: Section 125 -128 of Criminal Procedure Code provide for a speedy. FIRST STEPS BY GOVERMENT TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION Recognizing the facts provided above and believing that preventing growth of destitution in society is one of the major objectives of any social legislation. immorality and crime for their subsistence. care and dignity. And it can be done by enacting some laws and prescribing some cast an obligation on the persons who inherit the property of their aged relatives to maintain them and to make provisions for setting up oldage homes for providing maintenance to the indigent older persons and to provide better medical facilities to the senior citizens and to make provisions for protection of their life and property the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill was introduced in the Parliament. Human beings need some kind of support in this age. Threat of punishment is very essential to deal with such a situation. Family life is very necessary for senior citizens and for parents to lead a life of security.

Main Provisions Regarding Grant of Maintenance: Section 125(1)(d): If any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain his father or mother. when his personal attendance is dispensed with. at such rate in the whole. Procedure: The main procedure to be followed by the Magistrate while conducting proceedings under section 125 has been prescribed by sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 126 is provided below: i) All evidence in such proceeding shall be taken in the presence of the person against whom an order for payment of maintenance is proposed to be made. for every breach of the order. issue a warrant for levying the amount due in the manner provided for levying fixes or may punish imprisonment him for a term which can be extended to one month or until payment is made. . any such Magistrate may. a Magistrate of first class may. the Magistrate may make such alteration in the allowance as he thinks fit. and to pay the same to such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct. and shall be recorded in the manner prescribed for summon cases: Provided that if the Magistrate is satisfied that the person against whom an order for payment of maintenance is proposed to be made is willfully avoiding service. receiving under section 125 a monthly allowance or ordered under the same section to pay monthly allowance to his father or mother. order such person to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of his parents. in the presence of his pleader. as such Magistrate thinks fit. or willfully neglecting to attend the court. or. Alteration in Allowance: On proof of a change in the circumstances of any person. unable to maintain himself or herself. the Magistrate may proceed to hear and determine the case ex parte and any order so made may be set aside for good cause shown on application made within three months from the date thereof subject to such terms including terms as to payment of costs to the opposite party as the Magistrate may think just and proper. upon proof of such neglect or refusal. Section 125(3): If any person so ordered fails without sufficient cause to comply with the order.

ii) A childless senior citizen. So. health care. against one or more of his children not being a minor. Under section 2(d) a parent means father or mother whether biological. exploitation or abuse to the elderly in courts or Government offices. recreation centre and other amenities necessary for the senior citizens. daughter. Under section 2(h) senior citizen means any citizen of India who have attained the age of 60 years or more. shall be entitled to make an application under section 5 in case of: i) Parent or grand-parent. This act has proven to be a revolution for senior citizens it has barred the indulgence of advocates in family matters. The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act.But these provisions in the new age proved to be a bit outdated and the whole procedure was pretty expensive and time consuming. grandson and grand-daughter. 2007. the law makers of India introduced the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents of Senior Citizens Act. 2007 MAIN PROVISIONS A child. just file a simple application in the maintenance tribunal and to get justice and that also within 90 days. against such of his relative referred to in section 2(g) Any person being a relative of a senior citizen and having sufficient means shall maintain such senior citizen provided he is in possession of the property of such senior citizen or he would inherit the property of such senior citizen. It¶s so simple the whole procedure that it avoids chances of any kind of harassment. 2007 on 29th December. A senior citizen including parent who is unable to maintain himself from his own carning or out of the property owned by him. . adoptive or stepfather or step mother. as the case may be whether or not the father or mother is a senior citizen. Welfare under section 2(k) means provision for food. but does not include a minor. under section 2(a) includes son.

Another important provision of the act is mentioned under section 17. Differences Between the Act and Section 125 of CrPC SENIOR CITIZENS INCLUDED: Section 125 of CrPC is silent on maintenance of senior citizens. beginning with at least one in each district to accommodate in such homes a minimum of one hundred fifty senior citizens who are indigent. terminal and degenerative diseases is expanded for senior citizens. ii) iii) Separate queues be arranged for senior citizens. no party to a proceeding before a Tribunal or Appellate Tribunal shall be represented by a legal practitioner. also during the pendency of the proceedings regarding monthly allowance. iv) v) Research activities for chronic elderly diseases and ageing is expanded. which says µnotwithstanding anything contained in any law. Facility for treatment of chronic.The Act provides for justice in just a time period of 90 days after the filing of application to the Tribunal. In Chapter III section 19 the act lays down rules for the State Government to establish and maintain a number of oldage homes at accessible places. 2007 clearly i) . There are earmarked facilities for geriatric patients in every district hospital duly headed by a medical officer with experience in geriatric care. Another important provision is included in Chapter IV under Section 20 which says that the State Government shall ensure that- i) The Government hospitals or hospitals funded fully or partially by the Government shall provide beds for all senior citizens as far as possible.¶ This provision helps the senior citizens by not forcing them to pay heavy fees of advocates. under section 5 the Tribunal may order such children or relative to make a monthly allowance for the interim maintenance of such senior citizen. It only provides for maintenance of parentswhich means childless elderly people who despite having heirs to their property cannot seek refuge or remedy in CrPC whereas in Section 4(1) of the Maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens act.

vi) APPELLATE TRIBUNAL FOR APPEAL: Any appeal against any order of maintenance under Section-125 of CrPC has to be in accordance with usual procedure prescribed in the CrPC. Section 7 of the Act stipulates a constitution of a Maintenance Tribunal. headed by a SubDivisional officer to decide the case. viii) PROVISION FOR CONCILIATION: Section 125 of CrPC is silent on conciliation but. vii) ORDER ON APPEAL IS TIME BOUND: Section 16(1) of the Act says that the Appellate Tribunal shall make all efforts to pronounce its order in writing within 30 days of receipt of an appeal. .stipulates that senior citizens can claim maintenance from legal heirs of their property. the matter has to be disposed of by the Tribunal. Section 6(6) of the Act creates an option for the Tribunal. ii) FILING OF APPLICATION/CASE: Only the aggrieved parentcan file case under section 125 of CrPC whereas section 5(1) of the Act says that the application for maintenance can be filed by senior citizens or parent or an organization authorized by him or the Tribunal may also initiate the case on its own. iv) ADVOCATES BARRED: Lawyers/advocates may represent clients under Section 125 of CrPC whereas Section 17 of Act says that legal practitioners shall not represent any party to a proceeding in Tribunal or Appellate Tribunal. headed by an officer not below the rank of District Magistrate. 1973. v) TIME BOUND: Proceedings under 125 of CrPC are not time bound whereas section 5(4) of the Act specifically says that within 90 days from the date of service of notice of application. iii) MAINTENANCE TRIBUNAL: Only a Magistrate of First Class can give an order for maintenance under section 125 of CrPC whereas. Whereas Section 15 of the Act provides for a special Tribunal for appeals.

inexpensive and speedy provisions to claim maintenance for parents. to refer the matter to conciliation officer whose report must be submitted to the Tribunal within 30 days. STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS Traditional norms and values of the Indian society laid stress on providing care for the elderly. due to withering of the joint family system.before hearing an application. However. It has a broader scope and goes beyond the realm of parent child relationship. Statement of Objects and Reasons for this Law (SOR) What is Statement of Objects & Reasons (SOR)? The SOR generally defines the need. a large number of elderly are not being looked after by their family. After reading the Statement of Objects given below you one would gain a better understanding of the perspective and need for a specific law for senior citizens (parents & elder lies). Though the parents can claim maintenance under the Code of Criminal Procedure. whereas the Act is a comprehensive and specific law providing for both maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens. This clearly reveals that ageing has become a major social challenge and there is a need to give more attention to the care and protection for the older persons. scope. many older persons. Hence. The Act places responsibility on the state for implementing welfare measures for senior citizens. The statement is usually drafted by the Legislative Department of Law Ministry before a new law is introduced. Consequently. there is need to have simple. particularly widowed women are now forced to spend their twilight years all alone and are exposed to emotional neglect and to lack of physical and financial support. ix) COMPREHENSIVE LEGISLATION: Section 125 of CrPC is silent on welfare measures and is only confined to provision for maintenance of parents. desirability and objectives sought to be achieved by introducing a particular Law. 1973. the procedure is both time-consuming as well as expensive. .

The Bill seeks to achieve the above objectives. In majority of cases the perpetrators think that by abandoning them on streets they would be able to rid themselves of their responsibility . proposes to provide for:(a) appropriate mechanism to be set up to provide need-based maintenance to the parents and senior citizens (b) providing better medical facilities to senior citizens (c) for institutionalization of a suitable mechanism for protection of life and property of older persons. therefore. The Bill. 3.2. Each case shows how one¶s own children can commit such INHUMAN Acts. Each case reveals glaring violations of HUMAN RIGHTS of the old and the infirm. 4. (A) Old Mothers are abandoned Widowed elderly women who are dependent on their children are badly treated by them. The Bill further proposes to provide better medical facilities to the senior citizens and provisions for protection of their life and property. Though Elder Abuse can have perpetrators outside one¶s own family too« but then the majority of cases happen when the elderly people¶s own family is not treating them well.wordpress. (d) Setting up of oldage homes in every district. These cases though are only a tip of the iceberg! Each case is a story of abandonment. The Bill proposes to cast an obligation on the persons who inherit the property of their aged relatives to maintain such aged relatives and also proposes to make provisions for setting up oldage homes for providing maintenance to the indigent older REAL LIFE CASES Given below are some real life cases of Elder Abuse in India. harassment and torture.voice4india.

³Sonu does not want to take responsibility of his mother. The woman. Govind and his wife Sonia. I have too much work and can't cook for her. With that money he would send me to Rajasthan where my daughter lives. who is unemployed. Ram Pyaari. His wife tells me that I am a burden for them since I am not earning. the daughter-in-law.´ said Ram Pyaari. and that he often kept denied her food and water for days. lay writhing in pain on the roadside till passersby called the police. ³A few days ago Govind beat me up.´ said Sonia. said that she was often beaten up and denied food by the elder of her two sons. brought the elderly woman to the Patparganj bus stand and left her there.Ram pyari: A 75-year-old woman was found abandoned near a bus stand in Patparganj area in East Delhi on Sunday morning. I want to die instead of living such a humiliating life. the victim. she did not give us any money. ³Sonu told me that he is going to fetch money from Uttam Nagar. When a police team reached Govind¶s house. My health does not allow me to work. How can we take care of her? I only ask her to stay clean. all this when she gave him the money after selling the house. Who will take responsibility if they catch any disease from her?´ The daughter-in-law said that Ram Pyaari¶s younger son Sonu should take care of her as she had given him the money after selling the house. Ram Pyaari said that she was being harassed continuously by her elder son. I am unable to move it now. Hindustan Times contacted Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Ajay Chaudhry whose team came to the rescue of the woman. They are living in Trilokpuri. here is what he had to say. I have been lying here since morning as he has not returned. Her younger son Sonu. I am not going to clean the mess. suffering from breathing problems and a fractured arm. When she sold the house. I have four children. crying hysterically. The elderly woman was not even able to give her address but she knew directions to her son¶s home. After she was found lying on a roadside.´ said Ram Pyaari. She is ill and defecates in the house. ³We refuse to take care of her. . He broke my right hand.

Govind agreed to keep the elderly woman in the house only after the police threatened to slap a criminal case against him." Mohanasundari said. "We heard some moaning from the dump yard and when we went over we were shocked to find an old shrivelled woman lying in filth. 'Vulnerable' . "Chinnammal broke down recalling how her grandsons put her in their motorcart. "She is under the custody of the state at the moment. Tamil Nadu state Social Welfare Minister Dr Poongothai told the BBC she was "horrified" at the news. ³We will keep an eye on Govind. and she is being looked after." housewife P Mohanasundari said. "Once we know who the family members are we are going to take legal action against them. Chinnammal Palaniappan." Dr Poongothai told the BBC Tamil service. She said the grandmother had recalled how her daughter told her grandsons to leave her far away. If he misbehaves again. We will then take action against him. "There was no anger in her. we will approach the protection officer who takes down complaints on domestic violence. only a flood of sorrow as she begged us to take her back to her daughter. which they used for transporting cattle feed. who is thought to be 75. and drove a long distance before dumping her in garbage. She and her husband took the woman home and fed her before alerting charity workers. so she would not be able to find her way home." Mohanasundari told AFP. The police are trying to talk to her. She is in the care of local officials while they try to trace her relatives.´ said DCP Ajay Chaudhry." 'Moaning' Locals in Erode district of the state told the AFP news agency of their horror at finding the ill woman lying amidst rotting garbage. She said she believed the woman was partially deaf and had not been fed properly for three days. told locals who found her she was driven miles from home in a cattle feed cart and dumped by family members.

False criminal charges are filed to torture the Old This is another way of harassing the elderlies in India. (B) Old Fathers are abandoned Paritosh Chowdhury. . When Chowdhury refused. was being harassed by his younger son since 2002. Dr Poongothai conceded that social change was making old people more vulnerable. False bogus dowry harassment charges are filed by miscreants without any fear whatsoever. An abuser of law would find it pretty easy to crucify old people at home by taking undue refuge in law in the guise of ¶seeking protection¶. Even the legislators are aware of rampant misuse of anti-Dowry Laws but they fear speaking openly about them. although this is starting to change with the pressures of modern life. And why no fear? Because there are absolutely no penalties for filing false dowry harassment charges in India! And also because a mere complaint is enough to arrest without investigation (the offence is cognizable) and what when the fabricators of µfalse dowry harassment charges¶ themselves are perpetrators of Elder Abuse in family ? Or do the government or women NGOs prefer to believe that even in genuine cases of dowry harassment it is OK if Elder Abuse is committed in one¶s defense ??? Infact both Judiciary and Police are aware of such malpractices. Shankar had been demanding his rights over the first floor. Chowdhury¶s wife is a cancer patient. 69. he along with his wife Nihar Kana and other family members were assaulted and forced to leave the house. But she said the law was clear and if children did not take responsibility for looking after their old parents they could be in breach of the domestic violence act and prosecuted. False µDowry harassment¶ charges to torture in-laws: This seems to be the easiest way to harass old people in India (despite what Amnesty International prefers to believe). a resident of AJC Bose Road in the Thakurpukur police station area.Elderly people have traditionally been looked after by their families in India.

D. Chowdhury was beaten up last May and had to be treated at the Vidyasagar Hospital in Behala. Advocates Abhra Mukherjee and Abha Roy appeared on behalf of the state government. their grievances fell on deaf ears. In spite of this. Shankar is a member of a political party. a lower-division clerk at the police hospital. While other family members shifted to a rented house. DELOPMENTS MADE BY GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION OF SENIOR CITIZENS HEALTH CARE: i) There are provisions for senior citizens at hospitals and when they visit for any health related concerns or clinical examination. Ujjala had even filed a complaint under Section 498 of the IPC alleging harassment. Shankar cut off water supply to the portion of the house occupied by his parents and elder brother Shibu. finally wrote to the commissioner of police. Chowdhury alleged that Shankar had sought the help of local miscreants to get the family evicted from the house. separate registration counters/windows/rows are provided for senior citizens in O.¶s to avoid them to stand in long queues. but continued to bear the brunt of the torture. made through advocate Sonali Dey. Shibu. In Central Government Hospitals in all big cities. According to the petitioner. the physical attacks began in 2003. Chowdhury stayed on. Shankar had the backing of his wife Ujjala and his father-in-law who is a state police officer. The police would threaten to book the Chowdhurys for harassing their daughter-in-law. seeking redressal. In June.P. Whenever the senior Chowdhury¶s complained to the local police station. The CP forwarded the letter to the superintendent of police.In his petition. the police did not take any action against Shankar. ii) Delhi Government is running special clinics for senior citizens in most of its hospitals of Delhi . South 24-Parganas.

L. consultation. booking or cancellation of tickets.N.T.iii) At All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) preference is given to senior citizens with regard to O.T. c) Charges of non maintenance of minimum balance. TELECOMMUNICATIONS: i) Special provisions for senior citizens applying for a new connectionearmarked separate priority category for registration. TRAVEL BY INDIAN RAILWAYS i) Travel by Indian Railways is 30% cheaper for all Senior Citizens who are 60 years in age or above.L.(Delhi) gives 25% discounts in rentals and installations to senior citizens iv) M. special category for senior citizens. Kindly Note that while traveling all Senior Citizens need to carry proof of their Date of Birth / Age with a Photo ID Card. ii) There are separate Counters / Queues for Senior Citizens at all Railway Stations for purchase. d) Issue of balance certificate. f) Ledger folio charges. .(Mumbai) has a non O. Indian Railways provides this fare concession to elderly In all its trains including Shatabdi.T. g) Minimum balance required is also 50% for these class of customers. Rajdhani and Jan Shatabdi trains.P. running through its large network of Post Offices and Public sector banks. b) Issue of cheque book.N. while women aged 60 years or above are entitled to 50% concession in fare. BANKING: i) Government gives a higher rate of interest to senior citizens on certain saving schemes. ii) In case of any complaint of fault with the telephone a senior citizen¶s complaint is redressed on a priority basis. e) signature verification. iii) M.D. emergency management as well as hospitalization.Y. ii) Some national banks like the State Bank of India charge only 50% of the applicable prescribed charges in respect to following services: a) Issue of duplicate pass book.

AC 3 tier and AC 2 tier classes for Senior Citizens. and if any senior citizen who has been allotted upper/middle berth.iii) Lower Berths: In trains having reserved accommodation. iv) In the Computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS). a combined quota of two lower berths per coach has been earmarked in Sleeper. v) After departure of the train. Female passenger who is 45 years of age and above and Pregnant women. These coaches also have space for wheel chairs. vi) Special arrangements are available for those who find it difficult to walk or move on their own. there is a provision to allot lower berths automatically to male passengers of 60 years and above and female passengers of 45 years and above subject to the availability of lower berths at the time of booking of tickets. if there are vacant lower berths available in the train. District Headquarters and other important Railway stations for the convenience of Senior citizens and also for those who are in need. vii) Indian Railways have recently introduced specially designed coaches which have provisions for hand rails and specially designed toilets for handicapped people. . the Conductor/Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) has been authorized to allot the vacant lower berth to them after making necessary entries in the chart. Wheel Chairs are available at all major junctions. approaches for allotment of vacant lower berths.

' a senior ministry official. While the figure works out to 21 million. The government shall provide food. 'It is just a great beginning. clothes and other facilities free to the inmates of these homes.2007. requesting anonymity. If needed. 2008 The government initiated the setting up of 603 old age homes for such people . If more such homes are needed. OLD AGE HOMES On February 07. The construction process would start during the coming fiscal. ii) Air India gives 45% discount in economy class on domestic sectors to senior citizens (women aged 63+ and men aged 65+). At present. These homes are run by NGOs. the state governments would bear the maintenance cost for these homes. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment decided to provide a grant of Rs. iii) Other Airlines operating in India also offer discounts to senior citizens. we will make funds available for them. .20 million to state governments for constructing each home that would accommodate not less than 150 destitute senior citizens.TRAVEL BY AIRLINES i) Senior Citizens are entitled to 50% discount on Economy Class fares on all flights of Indian Airlines subject to certain conditions.' the official said. A lot depends on the response of the state governments as well. the government has chipped in to construct so many old age homes for destitutes under a centrally sponsored programme. we will certainly double the number. told IANS. For the first time. As per existing norms. the ministry grants aid to as many as 450 old age homes and an equal number of day care centers countrywide. of whom an estimated 30 percent are destitute. 'Everything would be free of cost for them. There are around 70 million people who have crossed 60 in in each district of the country as according to the rules provided in the Section 19 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. the new old age homes would accommodate only 90.450 destitutes.

' the official said. Study was classified into different groups. If any of them can do some lucrative jobs like making candles and other such stuff.The WHO-CIG adopted the definition developed by Action on Elder Abuse (UK)6 in 1995: ³Elder abuse is a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action.´ In India WHO conducted a survey with the help of Shubha Soneja a member of Help Age India. Each home would be equipped with facilities so that senior citizens can take care of their health.O. (2) create awareness about its existence to the primary health care workers and (3) develop a strategy for its prevention. 'Instead of whiling away their time. The second male group from the upper middle class prioritized ³mental health problems´ focusing more on lack of work.) The WHO has been constantly doing acts to prevent elder abuse in various parts of the world. the management of the home will do the needful. lack of facilities for utilization . both edible and non-edible. it has shown its concern towards the neglect of the older people by the new age society. each group had its own problems and complications. The aim of the study was to (1) define and identify the symptoms of elder abuse. the main findings were: MALES Discussions with male groups indicated that the middle income group listed ³economic´ problems on priority. they will get television sets so they not only feel at home but also do not suffer from any kind of boredom.' the official said.H. occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. Role of World Health Organization(W. For entertainment too. the survey was mainly dedicated to the abused elderly.'The ministry is in the process of making available extra funds to the state governments to ensure the effective maintenance of these homes. they have been constantly performing surveys to study the situation of senior citizens in the world. they will be encouraged to keep themselves engaged in economic activities and the proceeds will be spent on their welfare.

the older woman to stay with one child and the man to stay with another ± according to the convenience of their support in whatever housework /outside work they could contribute to health problems however took a back seat coming in at the third position and linked with lack of mobility and economic problems.e. He is an early riser and goes to bed early. Lack of accommodation was also a ³problem´ identified by the older persons who had houses of their own and were not staying in apartments. The problem here did not seem to be lack of money but lack of time by the ³others´ for the older persons Second to economic problem came´lack of emotional support´ from family members and both the groups felt that they felt a need to talk to their family who did not seem to have time for them The Words were many ± ranging from ³neglect´ from family. owned by him with his only son. 70. and ³Old Age itself was a disease´ A glaring problem faced by the males group was older couple being asked to live separately when they had more than one child i. CASE STUDY 1 Dr. He has asked his son and his family to leave as he is the owner and he can no longer live with them. He has been living in this apartment. it creates an unpleasant situation in the house and nothing improves. If he offers any suggestions about the ways of keeping the house(which is his own). or for that matter looking after the needs of the grandchildren. The timing of the meals and the items prepared do not suit his age and taste. At times. He has even suggested that would like to remarry for the sake of a companion . He waits endlessly for the meals to be served. is a qualified medico trained in Homeopathic medicine.of leisure time and a general feeling of loneliness ³talking to walls´. ³a sense of insecurity´ and feeling of ³burden´. he has to eat whatever is available. His wife died two years back. ³experience of loneliness in everything´. He superannuated from Government service about 10 years back. Singh. where there is only a specified area. If at all he complains. daughter ± in ± law and two grandchildren for many years now. he is told in no uncertain terms to mind his own business.

CASE STUDY 2 Mrs. SHANTI. mother of two sons. Economic Hardships became very prominent in the women of the lower socio-economic group while the higher socio economic category put loneliness as the primary problem affecting the older persons today. widowed for 50 years (at least). and continue to neglect him. the problem of women surfaced as the next major issue wherein there was a general consensus was women were the worst sufferers with no income of their own and dependent on spouses for everything. They also tended to underplay their health problems for the sole reason of causing inconvenience to the other family members by way of escorting them to the doctor and/or spending money by way of consultation fee and medicines. They further voiced that if the women were widows. Her sons grew up. with no finances or pension to fall back upon. got married. This mental agony also led to various mental health problems some of which could not even be described. she had power or else she had to be dependent on children for financial support and also ´ill-treatment´. The younger of the two sons was 3 months old when the husband died.35/. humiliation and complete neglect from family members. and generally did well in life. This problem however did not get priority in the upper middle level group. One of them did better than the other and moved away from the . FEMALE In the lower group. The lady survived by sitting outside a temple and serving water to the devotees and earned Rs.and so they must be leaving the apartment.per month (less than 1 US$) and some other income generation activities to make both ends meet. The lower socio-economic group felt that if the woman has money. 75. They do not go anywhere. the situation was even worse because the finances then came from children for their welfare and it was the sole discretion of children to ³decide whether she needed medical assistance or not´ even if she said she did.

³lack of emotional support´. She stays with the second son and his family. who continue to ³support´ her.mother and brother¶s family and stopped all contact with them. Defining abuse was a problem. when refreshments were being served. On the pursuance of his friends and other members of the community. The participants of all the focus groups initially talked about ³emotional and financial problems´. ³feeling of insecurity´. WHY PEOPLE DO NOT APPROACH FOR HELP? Most people in the group felt ashamed of the fact that they are being ill treated by family members. However. he invited his mother to inaugurate it. Through this survey it was eventually found older people perceived abuse under three broad areas: Neglect ² isolation. ³neglect by the family members´. ³maltreatment´. ³loss of dignity´. the mother was totally ignored to the extent that the two guests on her either side were served while she just looked! Some in the group also felt that there was economic exploitation by the hands of the children who wanted their share in the property before the older parents¶ death and expressed concern because they felt that parents gave in to such demands as they did not want conflict. which they all seemed to agree was abnormal and ³did not happen in our societies´. Her first son (staying separately) decided to open a community water cooler in his locality. A large majority also felt that the social agencies could hardly do anything help them and the major fact was that it was emotionally satisfying to at least be able to ³see´ their children. They linked abuse to very severe acts of violence. legal and medical rights . abandonment and social exclusion Violation ² of human. not a single person was willing to label it as ³abuse´. After the inauguration. in the memory of his father. They were also afraid of retaliation by the family members if the agencies come to help. disrespect´ by the family. The six focus groups selected varied from lower to higher strata of society and largely service sector people who had superannuated at the age of 58 or 60 years.

they need help. It . they need support.Deprivation ² of choices. no they wouldn¶t. they need a respectful status which only a child can provide. This cannot be made available by the force of any legislation or any act until one¶s inner soul makes one feel like doing that to his parents. obviously becoming financially supported means solution to many problems which old people face in their daily routine. which he provides to his children when they are needy. decisions. the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. But still they are neglected by this young generation of the so-called 21st century who has its own principles to lead life and a no care attitude. The main aim is to bring back that cheer of childhood in an old and neglected parent in the last stage of his life. To improve the devastated emotional position of an abandoned parent. Being a law student this should not be my approach towards legal matters. do they get back the respect lost in the society by fling an application in a Tribunal. status. As it is famously said about the senior citizens ³ Let¶s add live to their years. their knowledge is as valuable as gold. it guarantees financial support for the neglected parents and senior citizens. old people are like an old treasure kept. should such soft and complicated family problems be totally seen through the view point of a legislative act. is becoming financially secure fulfils one¶s emotional and respect related problems or does it prevents isolation and abandonment by their children. but does it actually has such an effect. the government should provide for professional councilors who should be capable in realizing a son his duty towards his old parents. to give rebirth to that love and affection which normally prevails in a parent child-relationship. finances and respect CONCLUSION Yes.´ This should be the main principle of the government while acting for the welfare of the senior citizens. but is abandonment of parents or grand-parents actually a legal matter? I am confused.I would suggest that to protect families to break into pieces or get covered by a blanket of legal actions. in their second child age they need everything that they provided to their children during their childhood.There are many benefits of having a grandparent in a family he is the one who bounds the complete family together by his old and rich knowledge. they are full of experience which one would need in solving daily life problems. 2007 has proved to be a great help for the senior citizens. They need love.

You protect it. they will have to give due respect to the elderlies because they are the carriers of this culture of Eastern Civilization. . our own civilization and let the other life styles like that of the west create an impact in our society which would then never be erased. our culture. to protect our society. I would like to this by a wise saying of Sir James Sterling Ross:´ You do not heal old age. promote it. you extend it´.is a big mistake and soon they have to realize it. So. our heritage we need to protect the rights of the senior citizens of our country. destroying them would mean destroying our own culture. if the people of India want to conserve their rich culture and heritage.

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