Youth should ensure that elderly live a life of dignity: Prez
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Expressing his "dismay" over a recent survey that one out of three elders is abused in the country, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said it should serve as a "wake-up call" and prod each one of us to take immediate action.
"We must do everything possible to ensure that our elders can lead a life of dignity, enjoy the best of medical attention, economic security as well as emotional stability," he said at a function to celebrate 'International Day of Older Persons'.
Mukherjee was referring to the findings of the 20 city survey conducted by HelpAge India which said many elderly were abused for over five years and that majority do no complain to anyone in order to uphold the family honour.
"It is more shocking to learn that those surveyed described their sons and daughter-in-law as the primary abusers," the President said while expressing his "deep alarm and dismay" over the findings.
He said the survey has spoken of suffering disrespect, neglect, verbal abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse. Worst of all, he said, the survey finds that most abuse is inflicted on those above 80 years.
"I hope these findings will serve as a wake-up call and goad each one of us to immediate action," he said at the function organised by HelpAge India.
Observing that majority of the elders are women, he said society should also recognise the dimension and address with appropriate measures problems about 58 per cent of the rural women who are widows.
The President sought the support of voluntary organisations for efficient implementation of a national policy on elderly persons which identifies principle areas of intervention and action strategies.
He wondered which country has provisions like the Indian Constitution does calling upon states to make effective provision for public assistance in cases of old age within limits of its economic capacity and development.
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