New Delhi: More than 71 per cent of senior citizens in India face harassment or humiliation by their own family members, relatives or children, a study has revealed.
"Based on our interactions with elderly people, it has been found that more than 71 per cent elderly...are being humiliated by their family members, relatives and others unknowingly, rather unintentionally," Agewell Foundation, an NGO working for the rights of the elderly, said in its note released ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15.
As per the survey, every second senior citizen is being "harassed or mistreated or humiliated by their own family members, children, relatives or others".
The note is based on interactions with senior citizens across the country through its nationwide network of volunteers, the NGO said.
Speaking on the issue, Himanshu Rath, Chairman, Agewell Foundation said, "Old age is an inevitable part of our life. We all will become old one day. We will be better prepared for our old age if we interact with elderly and understand their problems. At the same time there is an urgent need to create greater awareness in the society about needs and rights of older persons."
The foundation said ever increasing incidents of violation of human rights of older people indicate that most of them are prone to abuse.
"Humiliation is the most common form of elder abuse in old age. When their own family members and relatives don't talk to them, could not spend time or could not take care of their needs or interests and lifestyle, elderly feel humiliated," it said.
The foundation said it has been observed that dependent elderly have to face humiliation more often.
"Factors responsible for intentional humiliation include -- poor financial status of family, lack of space, interpersonal issues, chronic diseases of older persons, declining moral value system, among others.
"It has been noticed that in old age, people with poor health conditions, medical complications, psychological issues, etc have to suffer more due to their helplessness. Lack of awareness about their human rights is another major factor responsible for elder abuse," it said.