GUWAHATI, June 14 - Noted eye surgeon Dr Harsha Bhattacharjee today expressed concern over the neglecting attitude of a section of youths in modern India towards their parents.
Dr Bhattacharjee, while releasing a research report ‘Elder Abuse-2018’ prepared by Help Age India at the Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya, said the victims of elder abuse are mostly from the literate and highly educated families of the country. This, he said, indicates that the parents in particular and the elders in general suffer physical, mental, social and other forms of abuse at the hands of the younger generation.
The report, which was prepared on the basis of interviews of over 5,000 elderly persons of 25 cities, including Guwahati, showed that 51 per cent of the surveyed people spoke of receiving disrespect from their children while 20 per cent suffered to the extent of getting beaten up.
Dr Bhattacharjee added that the report made disconcerting revelations which should awaken the inner conscience of the people in general and the younger generation in particular.
Dr Bhattacharjee delivered a lecture on eye ailments of the elderly persons, especially cataract, glaucoma, running eyes and diabetes-related eye problems. He also replied to questions of the audience regarding the difficulties faced by the elderly persons with eye ailments.
Nilandra Tania, chief coordinator of Help Age India in the North East, while welcoming the guests, gave a power-point representation on the research report.
Addressing the meeting presided over by retired bureaucrat Jagat Bora, senior journalist DN Chakravartty said while the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas contained soul-stirring tales about love and respect for parents as demonstrated by Ramchandra and the Pandavas, the present-day society presents harrowing stories of parents suffering verbal and physical abuse at the hands of their children.
He said modern Indian youths who run after lucrative jobs in foreign countries seldom find time to look after their ailing parents. He said in earlier times children learnt time-tested values through moral stories in their textbooks, but the present-day textbooks no longer carry such inspiring lessons.
Dr Manoranjan Sarma, president, ASCA, stressed the need for the elderly people of the country to educate and inspire the younger generation about the urgent need for retaining the eternal spirit of India.
Writer Tobiul Hussain explained the UN principles on the elderly and the National Policy for Older Persons in India. Senior journalist Uttam Baruah also spoke on the occasion.