An initiative to end Harassment of Elderly in Karnataka
93-year-old Anantaiah Setty was found chained below an elevated platform erected for the overhead tank. He was rescued by the City police from the terrace of his house near Banashankari Temple where his family had allegedly chained him for the last one-and-a-half years. The nonagenarian was hardly fed, and left to defecate in a narrow open space. Setty, who was later shifted to Jayanagar General Hospital, said his family was indifferent to his plight. “They didn’t look after me well. Not a single day in the last 18 months did they give me two square meals. I was left with no option but to beg in the neighbourhood,” The incident came to light when neighbours tipped off a Kannada news channel about Setty. The police then raided the house and rescued the elderly man and provided him rehabilitation and medical help.
The World Health Organization defines Elder Abuse as "an act intended to harm an older person by way of physical, emotional or psychological, mental, neglect or financial distress. Elder abuse includes harmful acts committed by close family, known relatives, friends, neighbours and paid caregivers".
According to the WHO, elder abuse is a problem that exists in both developing and developed countries, yet is typically under-reported globally. Until recently, this serious social problem was hidden from the public view and considered mostly a private matter. Even today, elder abuse continues to be a taboo, mostly underestimated and ignored by societies across the world.
In India, elder abuse is one of the major problems elder face. About 50% of elders have faced some form of abuse and of them 71% are abused by their own family members.
This Elders Helpline is a joint project of the Bangalore City Police and Nightingales Medical Trust, an NGO with a long association and experience with elders. Qualified and committed lawyers, social workers, counsellors, dutiful police and service-minded volunteers render a variety of reliable services that could be utilized by elders. Moreover, all services are free and within easy reach. The Helpline is supported by the Department for the Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens, Government of Karnatka.
Based on a study conducted to understand and assess the need of the elderly, the existing helplines in the country and also some international helplines for senior citizens, the need for a helpline at a national level was recognized by the National Institute of Social Defence, Government of India. The Elderline has been created to be a technology-based platform that would enable services both in the urban and rural areas with a strong backend of information aggregation of all the service providers and empathetic people to talk to the senior citizens. Nightingales Medical Trust has been recognized to operate this Helpline in Karnataka.
1. Helping elders who are abused, ill-treated, harassed, cheated, exploited
2. Offering legal advice
3. Dissemination of information and connecting elders with reliable services providers
4. Helping elders seek remedial measures through Tribunals under the Maintenance Act
5. Tracing of missing elders
6. Helping elders in civic related cases
7. Rescue of abandoned elderly
8. Helping elders get pension and assisting them in the process
9. Medical Guidance for elders
10. Psychological counselling to elders who are lonely and living with fear and regular checks on their wellbeing
11. Improving the quality of life of residents in old age homes through necessary services.
12. Creating a safe and secured environment to protect elders from crimes
13. Empowering elders through online training on digital payments, online shopping, precautionary measures, etc. and helping to protect them from cyber crime.
14. Checking the background of professional caregivers
My son, daughter-in-law and 2 children along with wife and I stay in the same house for several years and the house belongs to me. For some time now, they were neglecting us. So we went to my daughter's house for a few months. My son was keeping my property papers, he indicated that he will not return it.
We came to the Elders Helpline to help get our house back. Staff at the Helpline called son and daughter-in-law for discussions. With pressure from staff he vacated the house and handed over the key in two months time. We are very happy to get our house back
We had a property and built a house from our own earnings The house was registered including my son's name. After his marriage we wanted to give it for rent, but my daughter-in-law did not allow him to sign the rental agreement. When I was worried about this issue, I got to know about the Elders Helpline. I came to the Helpline and gave a complaint. They counseled my son and daughter in law and asked them to release the property into my and husband's names. I am grateful to the Elders Helpline for their assistance.
I had given my house for rent to a family - couple having 2 children. Initially they paid their rent on time, but after somtime they stopped paying on time. Whenever I asked for the rent, the couple would abuse me and challenging me saying that they will not pay and will not vacate the house. So I gave a complaint at the Elders Helpline. Even after giving them notice, making home visits & couple of sessions she wouldn’t agree to vacate the house. The staff did not give up, but followed up continuously till they vacated the place. The Elders Helpline really helped me to get my house back. I thank the staff of the Elders Helpline for helping me.