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February 24, 2012

Greedy Children Abandon Parents (INDIA)

By Nafeesa M P

KOCHI: Susamma (name changed), 50, an inmate of Shanthi Bhavan for the last two years, finds it hard to hold back tears when asked about her family.
Homeless and lonely after the death of her husband, she had no choice but to seek shelter at Shanti Bhavan as her three children were too busy to care for their mother.
Sadly, this is not just the story of Susamma, but the tale of hundreds of elderly people who live in various old-age homes.
“All my children wanted my wealth. Once they had it all, they threw me out of the house,” Susamma said. “Though my daughters sometimes come and give me money, my only son hasn’t come yet,” she said.


An other inmate Annamma, 81, who has eight siblings, shares the same plight.
“I was self-employed for years till health issues prevented me from earning a living. No one cared for me after that,” she said.
Another inmate at Home of Providence in the city said she left home with her husband eight years ago after her adopted son tried to sell their house at Kannamali.
“He had already sold all my ornaments and then was forcing us to agree to his wishes,” she said.
Though the state of the elderly people is pathetic, most of them choose not to take legal action against their children, though they have the right to do so.
Despite the Senior Citizens Bill- 2007 having too many provisions for the elderly, it could do nothing to curb the marginalisation of elderly people.
Revenue Divisional Officer S Shahnavaz said: “The condition of old women, especially mothers, is more pathetic as they seldom complain about the abuses they face from their family.” Shanavaz said there are many provisions for the elderly to opt for legal assistance if they face any abuse.
All the properties registered after 2007 in the name of children can be retained by the elders if the children fail to care for them, he said.
“A legal notice will be served on the relatives if they are not able to satisfy the promised maintenance for the elderly. In some extreme cases, the children can even face jail sentence,” Shahnavaz said.
However, he added that the situation in the city was much better now as there was good response from elders against the ill-treatment. “The issue needs more awareness so that our services can be extended to more people,” he said.
District Probation Officer Shimna said: "There is no awareness among the people about the rights of the elderly. Many elders tolerate such cruelty just because they think they are helpless,” she said.

 SOURCE:     IBN.in
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