The abuse of elders by caregivers is a worldwide issue. June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) and to highlight this, Indian social group Bhartiya Samaj hosted an event to honor their elders and bring the community together. The event was well-supported with more than 250 in attendance, including seniors, dignitaries and volunteers.
Some of the dignitaries present were Hon. Michael Wood, List MP Hon. Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, National List MP Ms Parmjeet Parmar, Labour List MP Ms Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Honorary Consul of Fiji Mr Harish Lodhia, Honorary Consul of India, Mr Bhav Dhillon, GOPIO President Ms Shefali Mehta QSM, Bhartiya Samaj Patrons Hon. Dr Bruce Hucker QSO and Hon. Dr Ashraf Choudhury QSO, NZ Police Personnel District Commander Auckland Ms Karyn Malthus, Asia Liasion Co-ordinator Ms Jessica Phuang, Inspector Grant Tetzlaff, Constable Mandeep Kaur, Puketapapa local board Chairperson Mr Harry Doig and members Mr Shail Kaushal, Ms Ella Kumar and Ms Anne-Marie Coury, Managing Director Bank of Baroda Mr Anupam Srivastava, Team leader Research Centre Auckland council Ms Smita Biswas, EO of Age Concern North Shore Ms Janferie Bryce Chapman, Bhartiya Mandir President Mr Hemant Prashar, Shri Narinder Singla and executive committee members of Bhartiya Samaj.
The senior citizens group performed a short play on common abusive scenarios faced by many elders (sadly often within their own families). This was followed by a video of children enacting a play on seniors being kept at old age homes, and short video interviews of community members sharing their own experiences in understanding these abuse situations and advising on precautionary steps to tackle them effectively.
A sumptuous lunch complemented the event which was a huge success by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in their efforts to socially engage the community.