At least 52 per cent senior citizens move court for maintenance allowance, while 48 per cent are involved in property-related disputes, including revoking of their will, according to a survey conducted in four states by an NGO. The Helpage India survey on the effectiveness of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, was conducted in eight districts of four states – Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The states were selected, based on the preparedness to implement the Act and the number of cases filed and settled over a period of time. Two districts from each state were selected, based on the highest number of petitions filed. “58 per cent petitioners faced physical abuse (beating and hitting), 28 per cent suffered mental torture. Most cases of physical abuse were reported from Punjab, mental torture from Kerala and neglect from Tamil Nadu,” the survey revealed.
According to the survey, at least 52 per cent applied for maintenance allowance and 48 per cent for property-related disputes, including the revoking of will. Maintenance-related petitions were highest in Punjab and property-related petitions were high, both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
While 36 per cent petitioners faced open disapproval for filing the petition, 31 per cent of them were ‘avoided’ by other family members after filing the petition. At least 24 per cent petitioners had to face indifference of the family members, while abuse from family members increased in two per cent of the cases.