Hyderabad: Old age homes run by private organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are mushrooming in the city. Although they offer shelter to the elderly they exploit children by employing them to work at the homes. In addition to the heavy work at these homes and meagre pay, minors employed at these homes are sexually assaulted and physically abused. Lack of coordination and monitoring between government departments is adding to the woes of the people who work in these homes.
With children working abroad and nobody left to take care of them many NRIs consider these homes the best place to take care of their old parents. The homes lure them with attractive offers and promise the best for the elderly. Although most old age homes honour the promises they make to their clients, they violate labour rules by hiring minors to work for them. Experts say the main reason they employ minors, especially girls, in these homes is that they are obedient and can be trusted unlike others.
Young women above 20 are likely to move away after getting married or after gaining experience in caring for the old. Boys also leave after sometime and are not so easy to control like minor girls. “But minor girls are very obedient and take good care of the old inmates. They are not a threat to the home or the inmates. They don’t resist even if they are abused physically or sexually,” an advocate said.
Each girl has to look after three to four inmates, and have to do everything from brushing the teeth of the old to cleaning when they relieve themselves in bed. “They are paid very less and the money is sent directly to their parents. Though they are given food along with the inmates their living and working conditions are very bad at these old age homes,” a senior police official said....