'Senior citizens must be protected against all abuse'
Kolkata: The state Women and Child Development & Social Welfare department on Saturday observed the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by holding a joy ride on tram cars for about 70 senior citizens who are members of the Kolkata Police's Pronam project. The two trams left Dharmatala Tram Depot in the morning and travelled along the heritage pathways of the city of Kolkata.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged the common people to treat senior citizens with care and respect, and protect them against all abuse. "Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Senior citizens must be treated with care and respect, and protected against all abuse. The Bengal Govt is constructing a housing complex for senior citizens called Snehodiya in New Town. We have also set up a park exclusively for them," Banerjee tweeted.
The state-level programme was flagged off by Minister of State for Women and Child Development Shashi Panja.
It may be mentioned that the state government has taken several initiatives for the welfare of the elderly and have constituted the Maintenance Tribunal and Appellate Tribunals for trying their cases. These are operating in all the districts in the name of "Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act, 2007".
There are also old age homes run by the government and different NGOs. Mobile medicare units and multi-service centres for older persons are managed by NGOs in different districts with financial aid from the government.
The Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare is the nodal department under the state government for implementing the various schemes and programmes for improving the condition of older persons. According to reports, the global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 102 billion in 2025. Around four to six percent of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home. The incidence of abuse towards older people is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.