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Regular brutal handling of 85-year-old Kolkata woman by ayah

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Another story of horror has hit the headlines today. A 23-year old ayah who used to get Rs 18,000 a month for a 12-hour duty has been roughing up an elderly bed-ridden woman for months. The woman’s son discovered the horror through CCTV footage after the grandson found a blood clot on the woman’s shoulder. SukumariSaha had two strokes and was bed-ridden. Her sons and their families also stay in the same house and they had appointed the ayah from a centre to take care of their 85-year-old mother. What they saw was horrifying. The ayah would be busy talking on her phone regularly and if the patient wanted help, she would be roughed up, her hair pulled and her head banged. Such incidents again throw open the horror and uncertainty in which Kolkata’s elderly population live. With most of their children living abroad or other cities, most of them are at the mercy of ayahs and nurses hired from the centres. Many of these centres are unregistered and unlicensed. They hire these helps on references, and hardly know how well trained they are to handle such cases. These helps are never trained on how to treat patients, though they charge large amounts from the families. Most of them are educated till the secondary level without any special training. In some cases, ayahs sleep through the night, even when they are on night shifts, in some others they have stolen expensive medicines and have not given the patients their due dose. Though these days the centres are doing background check for police registration to see if they have any criminal cases against them. Yet, an incident happened a few years ago in Kolkata where an ayah hired as a baby-sitter for a child was found to have criminal cases of child lifting against her. Usually these ayahs and nurses come from city fringes and it is very difficult to keep a tab on where they live and what is their past. Only the centres can look into the same.