‘GOLDEN AGE’ HELPLINE 95% callers complain about daughter-in-law’s misbehaviour or property dispute, says NGO
Daughter-in-law's misbehaviour and property disputes top the list of issues causing elderly harassment in the state. This finding was revealed at a seminar organised here on Saturday to mark the ‘International Elderly Abuse Awareness’ month and one year of the ‘Golden Age’ helpline, which assists senior citizens in distress.
Minister for family welfare and women and child development Rita Bahuguna Joshi was the chief guest on the occasion.
The ‘Golden Age’ helpline (1800-180-0060) run by NGO ‘Guide Samaj Kalyan Sansthan’ received over 4,000 calls in a year. “On an average, we get more than 10 calls a day. Around 95% senior citizens who contact us complain about their daughter-in-law or some property dispute leading to harassment -- both mental and physical,” said Ravi Chaudhary, an associate of the NGO.
Bahuguna Joshi slammed women for misusing laws meant to protect them. “There is a dire need to put a check on misuse of laws,” she said. She also hailed the efforts of Guide Samaj Kalyan Sansthan and said that all NGOs should share one common platform to benefit the society.
On the occasion, she also announced the provision of pensions for old age home inmates.
Guide Samaj Kalyan Sansthan also organised debates on elderly abuse. Justice Sudhir Chandra Verma was the guest of honour at the event, which was also attended by other dignitaries -Prof Pankaj Kumar, Kusumlata Srivastava, GC Singhal, Dr Sarojini Agarwal, Vijay Raj and Shobha Bajpai. Faculty members of BSNB, KKV, KKC Degree College, Bohra Institute, Study Hall and LU were also present. On the occasion, members of ‘Chavi Shanti Dhaam’ old age home shared their grievances, and the opening of a day care centre for senior citizens at Ram-Ram Bank crossroad was also announced.
Indu Subhash, founding member of Guide Samaj Kalyan Sansthan, said the helpline was a tool to bring justice and dignity to abandoned elderly people. She said the helpline also aimed to bridge the gap between the youth and the elderly. “We have a club that functions in seven places in the city, including old age homes and parks. It promotes spending time with the elderly, helping them get out of their isolation. There are over 6,000 volunteers who work tirelessly,” she said.