Here comes another case of Elder Abuse from India… that too from Mumbai, a city considered safe for women in India !
But then as evident this city was seemingly unable to protect a 92 year old woman, Laxmibai Laxmidas Paleja from getting abused and beaten up by her own daughter-in-law, Darshana.
Darshana allegedly inflicted physical injuries on the 92 year old Laxmibai by kicking, abusing and beating her. The old woman was not only badly beaten but also thrown out of her house and dumped at her daughter’s place, as reported by the media. Her condition was said to be so bad that she had to be immediately shifted to a hospital. Laxmibai Paleja is now admitted in Harkisondas Hospital in Mumbai. She says:
Don’t curse me by wishing me health. When I close my eyes to sleep I pray they may never open again.
How much I wish she would never say so !
But then this growing menace of Elder Abuse is leaving no choice for elderlies. When forced to live under such inhuman conditions they all end up looking forward to death… the ultimate release.
Laxmibai Paleja further said :
My grandson kicked me on my face and my daughter-in-law abused me. It was after my son died that they started ill-treating me. They would call me useless and force me to do work even though I can barely walk because of my age. Finally, they just threw me out of the house, saying I had nothing to do with them.
Her son died of a paralytic attack in December last year. She says she was abused because her daughter-in-law and grandson were fed up of taking care of her.
On a complaint from Laxmibai’s daughters the Police registered a non-cognizable complaint (which means police shall not arrest without a warrant). Which only means that Darshana and her son have nothing to fear.
But legal experts opine that this case should have been registered as a criminal offence.
Parents cannot be evicted without the due process of law, if they have been staying there from before. There are number of enactments which can be applied. Firstly, under Section 125 CrPC, a magistrate can order the child to maintain his old parents. Secondly, Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act says an aged parent can demand maintenance from the same way a wife can demand from her husband. Also, the Domestic Violence Act provides parents with the Rights to seek relief.
Grandchildren & Elderlies
A closer look at this case throws up a disturbing fact. It speaks of the behaviour of younger generation (grandson) towards elderlies. And this certainly is a serious cause of concern for the future health of India.