Udupi: Neglected, rejected, and cheated by offspring, parents relate tales of woe
Udupi, Jun 16: A number of parents, who sacrificed prime years of their lives for looking after, nurturing, educating, and putting in efforts for ensuring a bright future for their children, and then faced humility and neglect at the hands of their wards, came out with tearful tales of how their children have turned their lives hellish during their old age. A press conference for the benefit of such hapless parents had been arranged on Monday June 15 at Vaikunta Baliga Law College premises here.
The elderly people who have reached an age from where they can neither start their lives afresh nor go back and reverse the ill-affects of actions arising out of their unbounded love for children, met under the aegis of Human Rights Protection Foundation here. They have been fighting for their rights under Maintenance of Senior Citizens and Parents Act 2007 in the court of the assistant commissioner.
Joseph Fernandes (79) from Kemmannu here was one of the distraught parents who had gathered there. Joseph has a daughter, while his son, Gavin Emmanuel, who is differently-abled, continues to be bed-ridden since the last 33 years. His other three children, who work abroad, have clandestinely got his properly transferred in their names.
Joseph lost his wife some years back. His routine comprises mainly of taking care of his sick son. He said that having been hard-pressed for money to meet medical expenses of his son and also for day-to-day expenses, he wanted to sell his property. ‘I have been cheated my own children. As such, I am unable to sell my land. I have approached Kundapur sub-divisional officer seeking justice and to transfer the property I had acquired out of my hard-earned money back to my name,’ Fernandes explained.
Sharfunnisa (65), a resident of Kodavoor near here, said she had parted with two lac rupees she had, at the request of her son, Abdul Hanif, after he swore that he would look after her well during her entire lifetime. She said that her son cheated her by not giving any money for her maintenance thereafter. ‘I am in the last phase of my life. I am finding it hard to make both ends meet. I have approached Kundapur subdivisional officer with a request to pass an order to the effect that my children pay Rs 10,000 to me every month for my maintenance,’ she explained.
Nanjamma (68) from Nagavara in Bengaluru has another tale to narrate. Her husband used to work in railways department. Her husband died in 2012, leaving behind herself and her three sons and a daughter. She said she bought a house by paying two crore rupees at the insistence of her daughter and son-in-law. But her daughter, Vanitha, has driven her out of this house. She also has applied to the sub-divisional officer for justice six months back. She says she gets family pension of Rs 14,000 and used to meet all expenses of her daughter’s family till recently.
The other distressed parents who attended the press meet included Siddagangamma (80) from Kuvempu Naagara in Mysuru, who is awaiting justice after complaining to police about violence being unleashed against her by her son. Ruth Rego from Uppoor in the taluk says she has been rendered homeless after her son forcibly got her property transferred in his name. He neither looks after her, nor pays her any maintenance. Ravindra Shanbhogue, chairman of the foundation, informed that Girija from Kadri in Mangaluru who lost lacs of rupees after reposing trust on a neighbour has also been fighting for justice.
Pameela Minaskar (78) from Magadi has three children. One of her sons has died. Her son, Jnaneshwar, an engineer in Bengaluru, usurped her property at Bengaluru when she was in Mangaluru. Although the assistant commissioner has ordered her son to vacate the house and hand it back to her, even after two years, nothing has changed, she rued.
Beechu Handry (90) from Kukkikatte Moodubail in Dakshina Kannada district, Maurice Aranha from Belman, Nagi Reddy (67) from Koramangala Bengaluru, Jayalaxmi, a resident of Hosur Road Bengaluru, Shivananjamma from Tumakuru, and a number of other elderly people also have been at the receiving end of abuse, neglect, and torture at the hands of their children, and are hopeful of getting justice, Shanbhogue explained.
Ravindra Shanbhogue added that he was pained to find that many officials in revenue, police, sub-registrar and municipality are ignorant of the above law. ‘These officials, who are expected to enforce the law and come to the rescue of the aggrieved, many a time seek details of this law from us. Our foundation has received about 380 complaints, mostly from Bengaluru, Udupi, and Dakshina Kannada. Some of the senior citizens who approached us with complaints have breathed their last under suspicious circumstances,’ he said.
He said that his foundation has been advising parents not to sign any letters or deeds in spite of insistence by children. He added that in case they have any property, they are advised to go for reverse mortgage instead of selling it, in which case they get money every month for maintenance, and the banks will recover the total amount due either by selling property or from their children after their deaths. He also explained that the union law minister has been requested to bring some changes in the above law, as the law suffers from certain lacunae.
Shanbhogue proposes to take up a campaign to educate senior citizens about how to draft and register will, to stop them from getting involved with miseries and litigation in late life.