In this thirty-third archive story by Kristian Bertel, we meet 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.

Older women 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 shoots. 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.

Older women in India face marginalisation
India has a population of 60 million older women that are sixty and over sixty. 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. 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. 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 don’t 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. Elderly rights are one of the fundamental rights of India. Surveys have found that one out of every six 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 fortyseven percent of the older men and fifty 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. Most recreational centers have fitness clubs, yoga centers, parks, spiritual sessions, picnics, food fests for the health and entertainment of senior citizens. Some old age homes also have libraries other activities such as music classes, arts and crafts, quizzes and indoor games. These activities help to spiritually uplift seniors and can contribute to overall health improvements and mental stability. 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.

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.

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.