HYDERABAD: Expressing concern over adult children abandoning their parents, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Thursday said the neglect and abuse of the elderly was “abhorrent and completely unacceptable.”
In spite of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007, he said the number of cases of children abandoning their elderly parents (in the country) was on the rise.
Pointing out that “our civilisation has always been proud of the way we treated the elderly,” the Vice President said it was the duty of the youngsters to take care of the elderly.
India traditionally enjoyed a robust joint family system and the fast-changing socio-economic conditions were leading to its disintegration, he said after inaugurating the 18th National Conference of Senior Citizens organised by the All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISCCON) here.
Whenever the family system fails in its duty to protect the elderly, the community, civil society and the government have to step in to fill the vacuum,” Naidu said.
He noted that currently there were an estimated 10.5 crore elderly in the country and the figure would reach 32.4 crore by 2050.
There would be 64 countries, including India, where 30 per cent of the population would be 60-plus.
Noting that more than 70 per cent of elders in India reside in rural areas, he said the rise in rural population of senior citizens was owing to large-scale migration of the younger generation to urban areas.
Stressing the need to provide physical, financial and social security and dignity to the elderly, he said the National Policy on Older Persons must be implemented by all state governments in letter and spirit.
Pitching for expansion of geriatric healthcare facilities in hospitals, he said, “Our cities and the facilities in them should be accessible to the elderly.”
Naidu also urged the companies to expand their CSR activities by including elders’ issues.