Kristian Bertel | Photography
Archive story
In this archive story we are meeting An elderly Indian woman in the Aram Nagar district in Delhi, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
India has demonstrated that aged people in India have crossed over 100 million. Many older people in India are not alert about the human rights of older persons, due to high occurrence of illiteracy and lack of alertness. Elder illiteracy directly contributes to a lack of knowledge regarding the human rights for older people in India and contributes to the infringement of those rights.
India has demonstrated that aged people in India have crossed over 100 million. Many older people in India are not alert about the human rights of older persons, due to high occurrence of illiteracy and lack of alertness. Elder illiteracy directly contributes to a lack of knowledge regarding the human rights for older people in India and contributes to the infringement of those rights.
Kristian Bertel, Photographer By Kristian Bertel, Photographer
– Updated on March 21, 2024

Older people in India

City streets, particularly in India, are an abundance of jewelled lights from traffic, shops and festive bulbs in Aram Nagar in Delhi, India. Their color and a good bit of sky detail make city locations perfect for urban street photographs. Dramatic clouds or the subtle gradation of the Indian twilight hues make good backgrounds for street portraits but as the light in the afternoon fades and your background turns black, you can turn your attention to the Bokeh effect to really make your urban portrait work shine.

How many older people in India?

Over 139 million people living in India are aged over 60 which is over 10 percent of the country's total population. The proportion of older people is expected to almost double in 2050, which means that every 1 in 5 Indians is likely to be a senior citizen.

Older women in India face marginalisation
India has a population of 60 million older women that are 60 and over 60. In India, women have never found themselves at the centre stage and have always been marginalised from the mainstream of the society.

Living as second class citizen for centuries, their mindset has also developed accordingly and never enjoyed privileges of development and this archive story portray the status of older women in India to observe the miserable living conditions and violation of human rights of older women in India to create awareness among the concerned stakeholder keeping in mind greater challenge ahead and to suggest or recommend some specific points to policy makers, planners and decision makers so that issues concerning elderly women could be given due importance in future. Omarginalisation and isolation or disaffection in old age are among the most common issues that are affecting older women in India.

"Older women in India, who are still living with their sons or daughters and grand-children are also suffering from emotional alienation as the photographer saw many places and older women in India, who live in cities like in Delhi, are prone to social disaffection in comparison to older women in villages and joint family systems are still alive in rural areas"

Coping with old age in India
Older women in India, who live in semi urban situations or industrial townships in India also find it difficult to cope with old age, particularly after their children have grown up and husbands retire with increased life span of older women, their financial needs are emerging as major concerns in old age. However, today many older women ind India have property or money but they cannot use the money or take financial decisions on their own as social traditions do not allow them to use their ancestral property or money for their own welfare.

Most of the older women face family problems like uncomfortable relations with daughters-in-law, limited interaction with children, grand-children. Their daughters-in-law do not like their interference in family matters, children are busy with their jobs and their husbands invariably have mood swings after retirement and mostly restrict their free movements.

Due to negligence, lack of awareness or financial support and religious mindset of women, older women in India often have to face acute health problems. Most old women are self conscious and due to their home-bound lifestyle they do not attain confidence even in their young life. Changes in appearance in old age, dependence on spectacles, hearing aids, receding hairline, wrinkled skin everything makes them more and more self-conscious. Human rights of older women in India are not defined specifically, but their rights are more sensitive than other individuals as in most of the cases they cannot protect their rights on their own.

"In old age women turn towards religion. Most women turn to religious activities, pilgrimage and so on after losing their life-partner or any other family members. In today's fast paced modern life, younger generations hardly find time to share with their elders nad it has been realised that ever-widening communication gap between the generations is also responsible for miserable condition of older women"

Being elderly in India and their roles
The photographer took the photo above of an elderly Indian woman when he was traveling in Delhi, India. To know the facts about his photographic subjects have always been of interest for the phtographer, when he is doing photo work in India. The rights of older persons are the entitlements and independence claimed for senior citizens for instance above 60 years of age. Elder rights are one of the fundamental rights of India. Surveys have found that one out of every 6 older persons living in urban areas in India are not obtaining proper nutrition, one out of every three older persons does not obtain sufficient health care or medicine and one out of every two older persons do not receive due respect or good conduct from family members or people in general.

In today's state of urbanization in which women are increasingly joining the workforce, the roots of joint family systems are eroding. Higher numbers of older people who have spent most of their life with their joint and extended families may face loneliness and marginalization in their old age. In rural areas the older members of families, for instance people who are above 60 years of age, are respected more and are considered a strong part of the family as the joint family system remains part of their roots. In villages 47 percent of the older men and 50 percent of older women are from joint families.

In the Rural areas of India 13,560 out of 29,000 rural elderly have joint families. Many government and private hospitals provide concessions to the older persons in the treatment of the diseases like 'Cardiac problems', 'Diabetes', 'Kidney problems', 'Blood pressure', 'Joint problems' and 'Eye problems'. There is also a condition for separate queuing of reservations for hospital beds. The Indian government provides housing facilities such as retirement homes and recreational or educational centers. These centers provide older persons with opportunities to spend their free time doing various activities.

"Poor social interaction with family and friends, poor social networks and those without families are some difficulties faced by some senior citizens. Social customs based upon elder neglect, which the elderly may internalize as beliefs are topics of concern. Losing the will to live from a lack of social support is another issue"

Elderly people in India
India is well known for its diverse culture and traditions and many of its practices are passed down from generation to generation. One of the most striking features of the Indian culture is the reverence for its elderly citizens. Many elderly people in India are seen as wise and respected members of society and their advice and wisdom is often sought for important decisions. The elderly have always been held in high regard in India, but this respect has increased in recent years. The Indian government has implemented various policies and programs to support the elderly population. These include pension plans, medical and health care benefits and special discounts on travel and other services.

The elderly in India are also afforded a great deal of respect in their communities. In many villages, they are seen as the guardians of tradition and are consulted on important matters. This is especially true in rural areas, where the elderly are viewed as a source of wisdom and guidance. They are also seen as the custodians of culture, as they can pass on stories, beliefs and practices from generation to generation. In conclusion, the elderly in India are an important part of society. They are respected and revered and their advice and wisdom is often sought. They are also a valuable part of the workforce, providing an important source of income for their families and they are seen as role models for younger generations and their stories and beliefs are an important part of the culture and traditions of India.

"The elderly are also an important part of the workforce in India. Many elderly men take part in activities such as farming and small business ventures, which provide a valuable source of income for their families. In addition, the elderly are often employed in manual labour and other service-oriented jobs. In India they are also unique in their own right. Many of them have experienced a lifetime of hard work and they are often seen as wise and experienced members of society. They are also seen as role models for younger generations and their advice and guidance is often sought"

See this video about an elderly woman in Delhi made by India Today.

Portraits of the inhabitants in India
When the a photographer is traveling in India he focuses on the portraits.

"- When out-and-about, focus on your subject from about some metres away with a long lens and a wider aperture and your background lights should glow like colored jewels in the night. As it is dark you will be using a slower shutter speed so a tripod or monopod are an essential item. Applying a gentle touch to the shutter button and remembering to take your shot when you have exhaled and not while you are holding your breath will also reduce camera shake and help you produce a shake-free, perfect image. A good lens is always useful too and using a lens with a focal length of 70-200mm or above will help ensure those backgrounds are out of focus and the lights are twinkling", the Photographer says.

"- But being a travel photographer in India also comes with its challenges. The intense heat, pollution and crowds can often make it difficult to capture the perfect photograph. However, the unique experiences and stunning photographs I've captured in India make it all worth it. In conclusion, my experiences as a travel photographer in India have been nothing short of incredible. The country's vibrant culture, rich history and welcoming people make it a photographer's dream. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have explored this beautiful and diverse country and capture its beauty through my lens. India will always hold a special place in my heart and I can't wait to return and discover even more of its wonders", the Photographer says again.

Read also:  Sarees of Rajasthan, India

Sarees of Rajasthan, India

Read also:  Sarees of Rajasthan, India

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of an elderly Indian woman in Delhi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.