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April 2, 2012

Cops Sensitized to Elders' Woes (INDIA)

TNN Apr 1, 2012

BANGALORE: Senior citizen Mandakini's son allegedly threatened her every day and would physically abuse her, forcing her to transfer her property to him. She called the Elders' Helpline, which in turn issued a notice to the son. A reconciliation meeting followed and Mandakini is finally at peace. The helpline keeps track of the situation to ensure Mandakini's safety.
Several senior citizens like her narrated their stories at a sensitization programme for police on elder abuse and crimes on Saturday.
 Since the advent of the Elders' Helpline 1090/22943226, several people falling in this category have been rescued. In view of increasing abuse against this section of society, the Elders' Helpline along with Nightingales Regional Resource Training Centre, an initiative of the ministry of social justice and empowerment and National Institute of Social Defence organized the sensitization programme.
The response was positive. Premkumar Raja, secretary, Nightingale Medical Trust said: "More than 100 cops from various police stations attended the programme. We also invited 20 senior citizens to share their experiences and how an abused elderly person can be identified."
MR Rangaswamy, president of Banashankari Senior Citizens' Forum, Jnanajyothi, felt this was a good start to make cops aware of their problems. "Police were not aware of our problems until today. What senior citizens being abused at home are looking for is security, given that we are easy targets. Within families, if there's no harmony, police should provide us security."
The session was inaugurated by Krishnam Raju, DCP (Crime), and guest of honour Uday Shanker, assistant commissioner, Control Room. "Elders need to be looked after. Joint families have given way to nuclear families, as a result of which regard for elders has reduced," he said.
Shiv Kumar, convener, Elders' Helpline and honorary director, RRTC, spoke of barriers to senior citizens' rights. "People feel senior cirizens are non-productive, and that they haven't saved for their old age. Elders have a right to dignity," he explained.
Dr Indra Jayprakash, former HoD of Psychology, Bangalore University, spoke about geriatric care and how to communicate with senior citizens, while Dr Priyamvada Muddappa highlighted various cases, like Mandakini's, that the Helpine handled.

 SOURCE:   The Times of India


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