Dignity Helpline

Dignity Helpline was initiated in 1995 as a response to the growing numbers of elder abuse cases in India. The biggest challenge with elder abuse is that it is usually hidden and is ‘normalised’. The Helpline’s primary motto is to rescue elders from abuse, but it also acts as a resource for getting trustworthy information and advice, getting access to counselling services and mitigating loneliness among elders.

Helpline Case History

Dheeraj Shah (30, name changed) who lives in Mumbai called our Helpline number stating that his deceased brother’s wife is physically and mentally abusing his father Naman Shah (72, name changed) and is repeatedly registering false complaints against him at the local police station. Dignity Foundation immediately acted upon the call by contacting Naman Shah and visiting the local Police station with both Naman and Dheeraj Shah.

Our Helpline team member learned that while the daughter-in-law receives financial assistance from Naman, she still mistreats him. She has registered 5 false complaints against him at the local Police station. She is also seeking custody of her daughter in the Civil Court. Naman, on the other hand, is weak due to lung infection and cannot bear the physical and mental torture by the daughter-in-law.

The Helpline team member advised them to file a complaint with the Senior Citizen Tribunal. Acting upon the advice, an appeal has been filed and the first hearing was scheduled on June 1, 2021. After the hearing, the daughter-in-law fled to Baroda and started living in a flat which is in the joint name of her father-in-law and husband. She also falsely claimed that her father-in- law has Covid-19. Naman intends to take legal action against her in Baroda.

From the time Dheeraj called the Dignity Foundation Helpline number, both he and his father have gained confidence in our service as we stood beside him in his hour of crisis. The case, as of today, is Sub judice, but Naman Shah has requested assistance from Dignity Foundation in the near future if his daughter-in-law files any other complaints against him with the Police.

Case History 1

An elderly widower staying in Mumbai was being verbally and physically abused by his son, who was divorced, had no earnings and stayed at home the whole day. The elderly father was providing for his son.

The father approached us at our office, where he met the Helpline staff. He was a broken man and had no one to go to. He shared his plight and described his situation in detail. He had turned to his relatives and the Police for help, but to no avail. He was contemplating to take legal action. The elderly gentleman shared that his son was an alcoholic and was also using drugs. We counselled the gentleman that he needed to take action in a way that safeguards his own safety as well as gets necessary help for his son.

We arranged a meeting of the elderly gentleman with a psychiatrist and his team. They advised him that as a parent/guardian, he has every legal and moral right to get medical help on behalf of his son, who is not in his senses to take rational decisions.

The senior citizen was able to muster up the courage and authorise medical intervention for his son. Following this, a team of psychiatrists went to his house and took the son to the hospital for rehabilitation. Finally, after years of abuse, the father started the process of putting a stop to it and at the same time, helped his son to recover from his addictions.

Case History 2

To address elder abuse and other difficult circumstances,
Dignity Foundation offers rescue and protection from
physical and emotional violence by arranging timely help
from the local Police. Through trained counsellors, we
provide psychological and emotional support, as well as
strategies for coping with difficult circumstances.

For various legal, financial and other crucial matters, we
have a panel of experts who counsel older persons on
various issues of their interest.

To mitigate loneliness for older persons who cannot step
out of their homes, we provide companionship support
to lonely, suicidal, depressed and bed-ridden persons
through a network of trained volunteers.

TOLL FREE : 1800 267 8780

Bengaluru :  96322 44568, 97405 52261
Chennai :     044 26210363
Delhi NCR : 84483 17316

Kolkata :   92323 82936, 91635 09818
Mumbai : 022 61381111, 91520 17120
Pune :     1800 267 8780

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