Message of NHRC Chairperson, Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2022
New Delhi, 15th June, 2022
“Greetings to all!
The National Human Rights Commission (India) joins the nation as well as the global community to observe the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on the 15th June, 2022.
This day is commemorated each year on 15th June, to highlight the issue of elder abuse which is one of the worst manifestations of ageism, and to promote a better understanding of the challenges faced by the older persons, irrespective of their social, cultural, economic and demographic identities.
This year’s theme for the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is very aptly focused on Digital Equity for All Ages since the digital inclusion is a big challenge for the older persons as not having easy access and requisite skill to participate in the digital world put the older asset of the nation on the back foot.
The Indian traditional society with its concept of joint family system was a strong pillar in ensuring the security and well-being of the older persons. However, the modernization and westernization of the society has paved way for individualistic thinking giving rise to the nuclear family system. This has resulted into disruption of our traditional living arrangements of older persons.
We have seen how COVID-19 pandemic impacted all sections of society particularly the vulnerable sections including the older people. The NHRC had issued an Advisory to the Centre, States and UT Administrations to address the issues concerning the older persons.
The Article 41 of the Indian Constitution mandates the policy makers to provide public assistance in case of old age. Further, Article 46 calls for promoting special care for the weaker sections of society (including older persons) to protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. The National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP), 2011, has resulted in promotion of healthcare of the older persons, housing facilities, productive ageing, safety and security and their income security, etc. As the said policy does not address the emerging issue of digital inclusion of older persons which is one of the empowering pillars of active ageing, there is a need for updation of the said policy in order to ensure digital equity for all ages.
On behalf of the Commission, I call upon all the stakeholders to work towards ensuring inclusive policies, strategies and take actions in all possible manner to achieve digital inclusion of all older persons which, I am sure, will enhance their quality of life and social well-being.