India, July 11 -- Narendra Kumar, 70, lives in Pitampura and plans her day around the needs of her ailing husband who has trouble moving. She gets up at 7am to test his blood glucose, gives him medicines, helps him get ready and serves him breakfast.

"I have to take care of him; give him medicines on time; help him go to the bathroom, clean the house, and cook. I cannot leave him alone. I hardly get time to step out. If at all, I talk to my neighbours from the balcony or my doorway," said Kumar, who worked as a school teacher before she retired and is not used to staying at home all day.

To pass time, she reads. She used to watch television, but that stopped because her husband complained of the sound. Her husband, CL Seth, 77, cannot w...