Nearly 300 seniors, parliamentarians, local council members and community leaders showed up at the World Elder Abuse Awareness Week event conducted by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust at Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall on Saturday, June 9.

The community leaders’ overwhelming presence at the Bhartiya Samaj’s Elder Abuse Awareness Day showed the commitment of the leaders towards elder abuse awareness in the community. Honorary Consul of India Bhav Dhillon called the seniors to celebrate the day for they are the pillars of the community and appealed them report to the relevant authorities if they face any degree of abuse.

Mr Dhillon applauded the spirit of the seniors for being active in the community work and events and commended the efforts of Bhartiya Samaj, its volunteers and patrons for hosting regular events for the seniors and providing them with any support they needed.

Seniors rejoiced in melodies of 1960s Bollywood songs during the event and danced commemorating this important day.

Three seniors from the community took to the stage by performing a skit revealing the passive, yet different sorts of abuse some seniors are subjected to at times by their own children. This raises certain questions of elder mistreatment in several communities that needs to be reported to the relevant authority.

Jeet and Roopa Suchdev from Bhartiya Samaj pledged to render every support to their seniors and continue to engage them in different events and activities.

“I acknowledge the work and service of Bhartiya Samaj towards the senior members of the community, it is overwhelming,” MP for Mt Roskill, Michael Wood said at the event.

Parliamentarians Michael Wood, Kanwaljit Bakshi, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Puketapapa Auckland Police District Commander Karyn Malthus, Constable Mandeep Kaur,  Puketapapa Local Board Chairperson Mr. Harry Doig, members Shail Kaushal, Ella Kumar, Ms Anne- Marie Coury, Honorary Consul of Fiji Harish Lodhia, GOPIO President Ms. Shefali Mehta, Managing Director Bank of Baroda Mr Anupam Srivastava, Bhartiya Mandir President Mr Hemant Prashar, and patrons and supporters of Bhartiya Samaj attended the event.

The event focused on conveying its vital message to the seniors, which was to speak up if they are being treated unfair and stand up and against elder abuse in the community.