Seniors march for their rights

Elderly citizens who gathered in front of the City Hall building to march against elder abuse.

A march against elder abuse was held on June 13. The annual awareness walk hosted by the Association for the Aged (TAFTA)started at on Anton Lembede street near the Durban City Hall and concluded in front of the City Hall building.

The march was held to combat and speak out against abuse of the elderly. The march was attended by hundreds of senior citizens who stood up for themselves and other aged people who could not.

“On June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness day, which will be commemorated globally. On this day, we raise the issue of abuse towards the elderly. This year’s theme which was highlighted by the United nations (UN) is financial abuse. Elders have the right to be safe from abuse and lead a life of dignity. Once those rights are infringed upon that is where abuse stems from,” said Femada Shamam the CEO of TAFTA.

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This year’s theme of financial abuse in regards to senior citizens highlighted and drew attention to financial exploitation of senior citizens as a large problem.

It is reported that approximately 5 to 10 percent of elderly people globally may experience some kind of financial exploitation which often goes unreported. The march was eventful, with many seniors saying that they were happy to get the chance to speak out.

Adelaide Valashiya, a 76-year-old resident from Inanda who joined the march, said she felt empowered adding that the awareness walk created a platform for the elderly to have their voices heard. “Today we feel that we are free. We are tired of the physical abuse, misuse of our pensions and broken hearts. Today we stand together and voice our rights,” saidValashiya.

Ron Page, a 69-year-old resident from Overport’s Lucas Gardens said, “The march was very interesting. It was nice to see elderly people coming together and the march was done in good spirit. We not only enjoyed the outing, but we also enjoyed putting out the message of elder abuse.”

Janine Ephraim

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