GCNI jointly with Anugraha and Information Center For India and Bhutan successfully concluded a Symposium on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day held on 15th June 2016 in New Delhi

Fri, 17th June, 2016 @ New Delhi

Global Compact Network India (GCNI) jointly with Anugraha and Information Centre for India and Bhutan organised the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on the theme “Towards an Age Inclusive Society: Advancing Sustainable Development Goals (3& 11)”on 15th June 2016 in New Delhi.

The event was inaugurated by Mr. Taj Hassan, IPS, Special Commisioner (Crime), Delhi Police, in presence of  Rajiv Chandran, National Information Officer, United Nation Information Center for India and Bhutan; Dr. Abha Chaudhary, Chairperson, Anugraha; Dr. Uddesh Kohli, Senior Advisor, Global Compact and Dr. Jitendra Das, Director, FORE School of Management.

Taj Hassan, IPS Special Commisioner (Crime), Delhi Police, in his inaugural address, stated the need for awareness of abuse against the elderly, among all sections of the society. He elaborated upon the initiatives taken by the Delhi Police which includes Residential Welfare Authority collaboration, registration of elderly people through registration fairs, and regular house visits by beat-constables. He further stated the proactive approach taken by the Delhi Police to ensure safety of elderly people which includes verification of servants, senior citizen security cell, State Level Advisory Body for senior citizens, legal provisions, Maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens, Act, 2007.

The event also included two panel discussions and the first session was on “Good Health and Well being: Essentials for Active and Healthy Ageing”, advancing Goal 3. The panelists during this session included Dr. Sanjay Kumar, National Programme Officer – M & E,  UNFPA India; Dr. Pallab Maulik, Deputy Director and Head of Research and Development Division; Senior Research Associate, Georgia Institute for Global Health, Oxford University; and Avijeet Kumar, Director, CAF India. The panel highlighted the need to sensitize the society in all the sections of the elderly, including those belonging to tribal and marginalised communities to ensure safety for them, since they are often considered to be an ‘invisible section’ of the society. This can be achieved through partnerships with various NGOs/Civil Society organisations/Corporates and through providing training programmes.  Other facilities like integrated care treatment, alignment of health systems through Public – Private partnerships, mobile technology based innovative healthcare delivery systems and providing rehabilitation services needs to be implemented to ensure their safety.

The session concluded with special remarks delivered by Jyoti Srivastava, Advocate and Legal Advisor, IndianLawWatch.com, wherein she highlighted the special provisions of the

Maintenance & Welfare of Senior Citizen’s Act, 2007, for the elderly. The act provides legal remedies for senior citizens, protection against exploitation, and setting up of tribunals to address their grievances.

This was followed by the second round of panel discussion on “Sustainable Cities & Communities: Towards Age Friendly Habitat” and the panelists present during this session included Nishtha Satyam, Head, Strategic Partnerships, Policy Impact and Public Relations, Women; Dr. Ajith Kaliyath, Environment Specialist, South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA); Lt. Gen. Rajendra Singh, CEO, DLF Foundation;   A Madhvi, Deputy Director, Deptt of Social Welfare, Govt of NCT of Delhi and Dr. Shalini Taneja, Asst. Professor, FORE School of Management.  The panel highlighted on the key findings of the study undertaken by Women which states that by 2050, the World would see an increase of 66% in the number of elderly in urban areas, out of which, 54% would be women and also 2.5 % of this urban elderly population is expected to be living in Asia and Africa. Due to the expected changes in the consumption pattern of urban utilities, it is necessary to build sustainable smart cities with accessible public areas. There is a certain need for providing access to various facilities like technology; medical services to promote the idea of “Active Ageing” that can be implemented through working in collaboration with Civic Society and Corporates and building policy framework.

Lt. Gen. Rajendra Singh, CEO, DLF Foundation differentiated among the three groups of elderly – Urban Middle Class, Urban Poor, and Rural Elderly. He also stressed that the corporate world should bear the responsibility of providing economic opportunities and providing improved facilities to the elderly, as a part of their CSR activities.

Dr. Aabha Chaudhary concluded the symposium by elaborating on the NGO Anugraha’s pioneering work of setting up two self-sustaining old-age homes –Swabhiman Kendra and Sammaan Kendra, in partnership with the Ministry of Defence. She encouraged people to follow this model of public-private partnership in order to achieve effective results for ensuring the safety and security of Senior Citizens so that they can lead their lives in a dignified manner. This was followed by the vote of thanks and presentation of mementos to all the panelists.