Sixty four-year-old Balvinder Kaur finally has a place to call home. A room, a television set, proper meals and friends to chat with is all she needs. Kaur who is a widow, was being tortured by her brother-in-law and his wife. She was rescued last month by the Senior Citizens Association of Delhi an umbrella body of 11 lakh senior citizens along with Help Age India.
Living in south Delhi’s Arjun Nagar at the mercy of her brother in law’s family, Kaur was allegedly cheated of her share in the family property and deprived of food and medical aid for years. A call about her condition by some vigilant neighbours to the association resulted in her rescue.
“The moment we got a call from one of her neighbours, we called the police. With the help of the SHO we rescued the woman. She was frail and needed immediate medical attention. She had been living in deplorable conditions, beaten up and tortured by the family. She is now in a happy space,” said JR Gupta, chairperson, Senior Citizens Association of Delhi and a resident of Safdarjung Enclave.
Recalling her ordeal, Kaur says that had it not been for the association she would have continued to suffer.
“After my husband died six years ago, I was left all alone at their mercy. I was supposed to get my husband’s share of property. They cheated me with the paperwork and took my share as well,” said Kaur at her new home in an old age home based in south Delhi’s Aya Nagar.
She does not have any children. “I am much better now. I would have still been living in that hell if these people from the Senior Citizens Association had not freed me,” she added.
Over the past month, Kaur has made friends with the other members here, similarly abandoned and cheated. She sits happily in the verandah with other housemates soaking in the winter sun.
“I am at peace now. The best thing is that I have people to talk to. Most of them have similar stories of either being thrown away by their children or dispossessed by in-laws. I get to eat properly and my medical ailments get looked after,” said Kaur.
The association has now filed a plea in the High Court against Kaur’s in-laws in order to get her right to the property back. They have rescued 11 such abandoned senior citizens this year.