75% elderly women donít have savings: Natíl survey
MUMBAI: At 65, Dadar-based Aruna Deshmukh who used to work in a garments shop has seen the fabric of life. “I have diabetes. I have undergone angioplasty twice and have had my uterus removed. I have realised two things.
First, women of my age must grow independent.Second, money is everything,” said Deshmukh to a packed room in which her sentiment found an echo in a 70-year-old stranger named Sitabai Sarode. Ever since Sarode lost her husband four decades ago, her children have taken care of her. “For people our age, if our family is good, our life is smooth,” she said. “Otherwise it is no less than hell.”
A recent nationwide survey of nearly 8,000 women past 60 years of age, titled ‘Women & Ageing: Invisible or Empowered?’ showed that 75% of them do not have any savings and well over a half of them have never been employed, leaving them dependent in the increasingly prolonged evening of life.
The report—which surveyed 7,911 older women across 20 states, two union territories and five metro cities of India—was released by the NGO HelpAge India on the eve of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which falls on June 15 every year.
“Women form 53% of India’s ageing population but their challenges remain invisible,” said Prakash Borgaonkar, former head of Maharashtra and Goa at HelpAge India, explaining why the NGO decided to probe older women from Himachal Pradesh to Kerala on matters including access to finances, employment, healthcare, security, digital devices and welfare schemes, among others.
Source : Times Of India