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‘Standing Against Elder Abuse’ is A short video by Reaping Hope to mark the 9th World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014.

Elder abuse is a major problem today, not just because of its severity but also because most of these cases are hidden. A large number of senior citizens face abuse everyday either one way or the other. And most of the abusers are none other than their own family members. The voices of senior citizens are not heard because they are unable to stand up on their own and now it’s time we raise our voices against elder abuse. This is a call to all youths to unite and stand against elder abuse, a request to initiate small steps to minimize abuse happening daily, knowingly or unknowingly. Know that your parents/grandparents and any other senior citizens are an important part of the society and help them live a dignified life in their golden years.

 

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KATHMANDU: Senior citizens residing at the government-run old-age home near the Pashupatinath Temple are facing difficulties due to a shortage of caregivers.
A total of 230 senior citizens — 125 females and 105 males — are living there. Thirty-two of them are differently-abled.
Mohan Kumar Basnet, chief of the old-age home, which is under the Social Welfare Council, says, “The centre does not have enough caregivers for the elders. Volunteers providing help are having a hard time because they are spread too thin.”

“We have not written to the ministry, but have made verbal requests to it to provide caregivers,” he says referring to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare.
Though the center is supposed to have 21 government employees to look after senior citizens, it currently has 15 government staff — three office staff, a nurse, five kitchen staff, three kitchen helpers, two sweepers and a health assistant from the Kathmandu district public health office. Ace Travels has provided five sanitation workers to the old-age facility.

“We have not received any written application from the old-age home demanding staffers, though they have made verbal requests for the same. We have entertained the request and will provide caregivers by the next fiscal if the ministry approves it,” an official says.
For appointment of staffers at the old-age facility, the SWC has to submit an application to the social welfare ministry requesting it to conduct a survey.

After receiving the application, the Ministry of Finance and the social welfare ministry conduct the survey and forward its findings to the Ministry of General Administration, which in turn appoints the staffers. The finance ministry releases the budget after that.
This year, the government has provided Rs 115 million to the center. A staffer at the facility says the government-allocated annual budget is enough to purchase daily commodities and pay salary to staffers. The facility faces cash crunch during medical emergencies, the staffer says.

“We do not go for donation campaigns and do not accept cash donations. Money put in donation boxes is used to foot the medical bill. Whenever elders are admitted to hospitals, we ask hospital authorities for support.”

Source: The Himalayan Times, (January 9th, 2014)

Compiled by: Janu Rai

Since March last year, around 30 senior citizens have been staging a sit-in protest on the premises of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM), first at Koteshwor and now at defunct trolley bus station in Minbhawan in the Capital, demanding a blanket 50 percent discount for the elderly in public transport. The government, however, has been callous in its response. The Senior Citizens Act 2006 stipulates that every public vehicle reserve two seats for people over the age of 60 and grant them 50 percent concession in fare. Accordingly in April 2011, the Supreme Court issued a mandate to the government to ensure the implementation of the Act. Unfortunately, the provision has been interpreted differently by different readers. The members of the Struggle Committee and managers at Sajha Yatayat believe that two seats should be reserved for the elderly while giving fare discount to all above the age of 60. The government and the rest of the transport committees, on the other hand, believe that both seat reservation and fare discount apply to only two senior citizens. In its working procedure, drafted after the start of the sitin protest, to ensure fare discount for the elderly, the government keeps to its interpretation. “This misinterpretation of the provision has only created a divide among the elderly. When five elderly walk inside a bus and only two are allowed a fare discount, who is to say who pays in full and who pays in half. This is not respect, this is discrimination,” says 65-year-old Maha Prasad Parajuli, chair of the Struggle Committee. The government, however, is unwilling to budge. “We’ve already given 50 percent discount to two senior citizens travelling on a public vehicle. We don’t own public transport to grant concessions to all above the age of 60,” said Mukti Bahadur KC, a director at DoTM. The Struggle Committee vows to continue the sit-in until its demands are met. Their other demands include free medical treatment for the elderly and an increment in the oldage allowance from Rs 500 to Rs 3,000 a month.

Source: The Kathmandu Post, (January 6th, 2014)
Compiled by: Janu Rai

72 years old Belamati Pun from Majhakada, Salyan.

72 years old Belamati Pun from Majhakada, Salyan.
Photo: Biplav Maharjan/ Kantipur.

 

Salyan-  An elderly from Majhakada named Belkumari Pun – 72 has come to Kathmandu to work in a brick factory. She chose to work in a brick factory because she couldn’t sustain her daily life due to her poor economic condition, she said.

She was off to Kathmandu on Monday with her relative after she didn’t even have a place to stay. After her husband’s death, she had been living off of sold property until her everything was sold and was compelled to live with her daughter for a few years.

She felt uncomfortable to live with her daughter and she had to choose to work as a labor in a Brick factory and take care of her disabled son. “I was at Ruru, India last year and managed to earn Rs. 14000 from work”, she said. “I have already been to many places to work as a labor before that.”

She says she had to work at this age since there is no one to earn in her family. With her wrinkled face, sunken eyes and fallen teeth, she said, “I can still work with others. I cannot be dependent to my married daughter. How hard could working in a brick factory be when I have already been to Ruru to work?”

Source- Kantipur daily,  (December 26th – 2013)

“Daughter is to son-in-law while son is to daughter-in-law; only husband belongs to you,” said an elderly woman found on the streets of Lagankhel. She did not want to tell her name and said she had been living in the streets since the death of her husband. Hailing from eastern Nepal, she lives all alone on her own even though she has her children. She said with a sigh, “children, nowadays, do not belong to us. I raised them with so much love but now they have found their own ways. When little, we fear about something bad happening to them, and now, it is just the opposite; we have to live with the fear that they might do something bad with us.”
She has crossed 80 by age. When she was healthy and physically strong, she lived an independent life. Time has changed. It is not the same case now. With passing time and old age, life has become harder for her. She entered the city with hopes of a better living, the decision which she regrets as of now. Shortly, her husband succumbed to death after suffering from some disease. She single-handedly raised her children with much difficulty and hardships hoping they would take care of her later in her life even though she lost her husband. Sadly, her hopes and dreams shattered. Her son, her only hope, left her on her own. She lamented, “Everyone detests you in the city if you cannot earn by yourself. My son’s attitude towards me changed after he got married, so I left them.” Now, she lives in the streets and begs for living. The streets of the capital have now become her home and she eats whatever she can get from a rupee or two given by the passerby.

Most of the women become the victims of domestic violence and are vulnerable to the physical and mental abuse from their in-laws and sometimes even husbands while the rest of the women are tortured by their own children after their husband’s death. Nepal being a patriarchal society, generally, husband acts as the head of the family. The legacy is then passed on to the son after his death. In this scenario, there are instances and evidences of women being misbehaved and ill-mannered by their own children.

Such another woman is Hiradevi Shrestha. She has four children yet she is living a lonely life without anyone to look after her. She has no food to eat and no place to live. She sells maize and vegetables on the roadside as per the season to make her ends meet. She has crossed 71. “I have a daughter but she has her own family.” She has been rejecting her daughter’s frequent requests to stay together with her and said, “Even though I want to stay and live with her, it is impossible to adjust along with my son-in-law and grandchildren all in a same room.”

Not only a daughter but she has sons too but was quite reluctant to speak about them. She further said, “We had a good life as long as my husband lived but all the sons went their own ways after his death. As of now, I don’t even care about their whereabouts.” Haridevi, now, has found shelter in the periphery of Bhadrakali temple. She eats wherever she gets to and whoever invites her. She usually eats at a nearby hotel which does not charge her anything.

Generally, women who do not have their husbands have worse conditions than that of the men whose wives are deceased. Their days of sorrow start right after they become physically weaker and that they can no longer make an earning and help financially.

According to researcher, Tej Adhikari, the senior citizens in the rural areas fully depend upon their family in comparison to those living in the urban areas. Those in the urban areas generally tend to engage themselves in household chores and babysitting their grandchildren. While, the economically stronger citizens involve themselves in religious activities, the elderly women from a relatively poorer background have a hard time living with problems fulfilling their basic needs like food and shelter.

The government of Nepal has declared the population above 60 years of age as elderly. According to the data of 2068 B.S., 8.13% of the population is over 60 in average. According to a recent survey done by an organization, the population is increasing by 3.5% annually. The government has been providing Rs. 500 monthly as a social security allowance to the elderly citizens, which is very minimal as per the activists working in the favor of the rights of the senior citizens. Even the facilities solely meant for them in the public vehicles have also not been yet implemented.

The younger generations might be physically healthy but it is the older generations that are the experienced ones. Their experiences can help a lot to the youths. However, due to the changing time and the increasing like for a nuclear family, the lives of the senior citizens are at stake. On top of that, moreover, it has adversely impacted the lives of the elderly women. They are left homeless, uncared and unloved. Therefore, it is the duty and responsibility of every family to look after their parents, especially mothers. But on the contrary, they are considered as a burden because of their degrading health. Hence, if they are provided with proper medical care and treatment, almost half of the problems get solved.

Source: Himalaya Times (Nepali Daily), September 06, 2013. 
Translated by : Janu Rai

In Nepal, although the ageing population is increasing rapidly, the awareness on the issue among the public has not been able to catch up. People are still unaware of the speed of population ageing, its effects, and challenges surrounding it. Unlike developed countries, a majority of the population still lives in rural areas without access to most of the information, and the population with access to such information does not seem to show interest in it as the nation has other important issues to deal with. A major problem for senior citizens in a developing country like Nepal is Negligence. There are no strong rules or acts against everyday domestic elder abuse, rights of senior citizen or any strong development efforts for ever increasing older population.

With this in mind, Reaping Hope aims to spread the information and raise awareness about the speed of population ageing, elder abuse, neglect and violence against older persons, and more generally, about the experience of being old in our changing world.

Please circulate this video to your circle!!!!

 

JANAKPUR, March 31: Durga Devi Koirin of Umprempur VDC-5 in Dhanusa is in her mid-sixties. But despite her years, Koirin painstakingly traversed about 30 kilometer from her village and reached the District Administration Office (DAO), Dhanusha on Sunday.

Along with her, as many as 150 elderly citizens of the village also made the rigorous journey to Janakpur, the district headquarters and encircled the government office to press the authorities to distribute their elderly allowances timely.

They had to resort to protest as the VDC secretary has not distributed social security allowance to them for the last 21 months.

“In this age when I am not even able to do my daily chores, I am here to picket the DAO,” said Koirin, who was staging a sit-in along with other elderly citizens in front of the DAO.

Likewise, another elderly citizen Mangala Devi Das, 62, of the same VDC also complained that she had not received her elderly allowance for the last 21 months. She said the DAO should ensure payment of their allowances.

“I visited the VDC office over a dozen times but to no avail. Help us receive the elderly allowance,” Das urged Chief District Officer Hari Krishna Upadhaya.

The elderly villagers also handed over a three-point memorandum to CDO Upadhaya. Acting VDC secretary Ram Sagar Singh could not be reached for comments.

The elderly have demanded immediate payment of the allowances. Likewise, they have also demanded social security allowance to dalit children below the age of five.
They have also warned of indefinite protest if their demands are not met within the next 15 days.

Source: MyRepublica Published on 2013-03-31 22:04:39

Image credit: Republica

Image credit: Republica

MANOJ ADHIKARI

POKHARA: Over 50 elderly living in a shelter home in Pokhara have been left to fend for themselves after the government stopped providing financial support.

According to Basanta Keshav Parajuli, chairman of the Pokhara Elderly Home, the old people living in the elderly home have been organizing bhajans and kirtans to raise funds for their daily needs.

The elderly home, located at Pokhara-16 Sitapaila, has been running for 16 years and has currently been housing 50 elderly people. According to the elderly home, the monthly expenses for the elderly people living in the shelter home comes to around Rs 70,000.
“The elderly people are organizing bhajans and kirtans to collect funds for running the shelter home,” said Parajuli. He said the elderly have collected Rs 500,000 over the last three months.

The shelter home has also employed seven persons to take care of the elderly.

“A donor has built a medical facility at the cost of Rs 1 million in the shelter home. But government has not even bothered to provide us a health worker for the treatment of the elderly,” said Parajuli.

Mina Karmacharya, 71, of Lalitpur donated three ropanis of land worth over six million rupees in Lekhnath municipalty-11, to the elderly home recently.

source: Republica, December 24, 2012

Kathmandu Poush 6 – Different government, non government and other concerned parties working on Elderly Citizens’ social security and Human rights claimed that solving the problems that Elder Citizens are facing is being a hard process because the civilians are not getting enough positive messages on the issue. An interaction program on the subject ‘Social security for Senior Citizens – Problems and their solutions’ was held on the 21st of Dec, where they said that the problems are not being taken seriously because of lack of awareness in general people’s minds.

Although the census of 2068 showed the results of decreasing child population and an increment in the population of senior citizens, the government has been unable to increase the share of budget for Senior Citizens’ benefit, say the concerned parties. Insufficient budget, inappropriate policies and lack of public awareness is hindering the problem solving of Senior Citizens, they added.

Although the number of Senior Citizens have increased up to almost 22,00,000; the budget distributed for senior citizens is only Rs. 2,50,000, says Surya Shrestha, deputy secretary- Ministry of Womwn, Children and Social Welfare. The policies addressing the problems are relatively stronger today but the weakness in the execution of those policies is adding up to the problem, he adds. Mr. Shrestha also argued that, in the case of Senior Citizens, the civilians seem more concerned than the government and the nation should be more concerned about the social security and rights of Senior Citizens.

A senior citizen, recently retired from the government service, Mr. Jayram Nepal said, at this time of government’s carelessness on the issue, organizations and aware citizens should act on researching and study the issue so they could pressure the government to act upon the issue. According to Dr. Padam Khatiwada, Vice Principal, Tribhuvan University, the senior citizens are being neglected by their own offsprings mainly due to property matters.

The President of the organization Sankalpa Nepal, Kamala Parajuli explained about how the government is turning a blind eye on the issues of the elderly and for that reason, Sankalpa Nepal will constantly work on pressuring the government to take  this issue into consideration.

Source – Gorkhapatra Daily, December 23rd, 2012

KAILALI: ELDERLY people in the district are deprived of allowance being provided by the government for their treatment due to bureaucratic hassles.

Chief of the Women and Children Office (WCO) in the district Hari Priya Bam said many elderly people were deprived of the allowance as they were compelled to visit the office and go through a long process to receive the amount.

The government provides Rs 2,000 yearly for every elderly citizen above 65 for their treatment through the concerned WCO on the basis of service seekers’ application with bills of medical expenses and recommendation of the concerned VDC or municipality. The provision was introduced in 2003.

According to the WCO, only 19 elderly people availed of the service last fiscal year.

Bam said a total of 325 elderly people availed of the service for the past nine years and of Rs 800,000 released for the allowance over the years, around 650,000 was spent so far.

She said a huge amount of budget released for the allowance remained unused every year as few elderly people visited the office for the amount.

However, the service seekers complained that they have not been informed of the service. “We are unaware about the process to get the allowance,” said Radhika Air of Dhangadi VDC-4. Many service seekers in the say it is the responsibility of concerned VDC and municipality to inform them of the service.

Bam claimed local people were informed of the service through various programmes and VDC secretaries.

Source: Kathmandu Post, December 21, 2012

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