Among all the important three segments of the age of human beings, the woeful and desperate age is the old age of a person when he crosses 60 years. This age in the present times is not so blessed as it used to be.
Earlier 50 or 60 years back, when a person entered this age he was never worried and upset about his rest of life as his sons, daughters, and their children all used to be a well-knit harmonious joint family but with the modernization and globalization, times have changed fast.
Firstly families get scattered, some members go to foreign countries for higher studies and after completing it they find jobs there, and some come back and work in their own country.
Secondly, some members after marriage get separated and their children get schooling living with parents and with it, the entire joint family system gets such a shape where human love comes down in them.
Slowly the old well-knit fibre of the family starts breaking and members get self-centered, there less cohesion develops and senior citizens who either retired from government institutions or from their own business do not get attention from any member and miss the love and respect which they gave to their parents.
But even in this situation they try to adjust and with the passage of time they start feeling neglected as the distance between them goes unbearably narrowing. The worry starts irking them and reminds them of the old days they spent with their parents.
With lesser means to live, some undergo depression, and some start getting sick under some illness and with more old age fear reaching the saturation point of isolation, some think of shifting to old age homes set up by the government for old people, some start meditating upon GOD, some find a meager job below their standard and when they do not find respect which they enjoyed during their professional life, as a result, they start crumbling in life even though the government has carved so many facilities as it claims like libraries, old age homes, etc. which are not properly maintained and not at all usable.
Senior people have established their associations and arranged substance for spending time like reading books, newspapers etc. and all such associations hold weekly or monthly meetings where people narrate their experiences and joyful time is created when seniors sing old songs and poetry; some NGOs are also helping this way.
No doubt, our country reached a state of achievements in so many fields but why this 12 percent population of the country is not being given proper attention and this is a blot on the governance. This human field which is the provider of origination of so many achievements of the country, it should have been given top priority to enable them to have more sustainability of life.
Reaching this age, the seniors lose all expectations of love from their own kids and there is no financial security for such category like in foreign countries and this flaw has restricted the percentage of age.
Under such an atmosphere, the government must think of this age as they have a vital contribution in developing this democracy and for how long this category will depend upon religious shelters or government old age homes where life is worse than hell; there is an integral need to add positivity to them.
Importantly, very saddening and crushing lacuna rather destruction of these people, many have been killed by the criminal groups when they live alone. Law and order problem develops and criminals are always on the outlook of such category to target them but the main responsibility is of the government to safeguard them, who contributed a lot in the making of the democracy. Some laws must be carved to give them protection and encourage them with confidence, rather than being crushed under the new system of living alone and in complete isolation.
There is no doubt there are some guys who realize the comforts, which they got from their old parents and they do their best to serve them with a warm and sincere heart in India. There is no medical facility for senior people; if there is no money with them they are to face death as hospitals in India are most costly, where the poor are repulsed and sent back without treatment. It is only the government which can enable them to live more and with satisfaction. The government should extend the necessary needs to support by formulating some plans for them.
Old people need support and security of all types; government should come forward to help them and why old people cannot live a happy life, and strictness also be applied where sons and daughters-in-law treat poor seniors in an unwanted way. First government will have to give attention to the pathetic condition of the senior citizens and proper plans must be drawn for the extension of their life in a comfortable way, which they deserve from so many angles.
All the government institutions like hospitals and old age homes must be made sufficient to allow them to spend days without discomfort and all private hospitals which have the support of the government must be tightened towards angling their attention towards the neglected section of the society; if all is done like this, the pattern of the fate of old people might change and they can be put to use to develop more and more through their experiences of life. This method if put to trial, sincerely the government will see the reformed color of total society.
If the government has sanctioned small pensions for such people, first it should be checked up, are they getting it in time on a regular basis and little more to suffice the need must be done if they feel.
Old age is always prone to many diseases and it shortens life. As government builds up the old homes for such people, the best way is government must open hospitals for the seniors that will give them much soothing treatment and on the other hand, all the family members who have not bothered for their grandparents and parents must be punished to make them dutiful towards their creators and this improvement may settle disputes in the families like property etc., leading to normalcy in the atmosphere. Conditions should be fixed that everybody should act accordingly.
In the Indian family system of the present times, there is a very scanty place for old people. Our wave of true duties is fading and a new type of phenomenon is occurring which is becoming a new base of society; and society will lose the closeness of each other and love begets love will be deleted from the old books.
Love has the best cohesive values and in this practicality, it will lose the cohesiveness and a very dry atmosphere minus love will develop. So, the respect and hunger of the senior men must be well safeguarded.
Senior people’s dependence mostly on ‘fixed deposits’ in the banks has been hit hard with RBI reducing the deposit rate from 8 to 5 percent in the last year.
In India, for senior citizens, the government must take initiative for the sustainability of their good health, life security, dietary system, and their family disputes, which arise due to property division among members. It is admitted that senior people demand and deserve respect and dignity.
From the literary angle, youth is a preparation for old age in which man has got ample time to review and introspect his past life and prepare himself for fresh adventures which life may bring to him. Old age has many advantages of its own. Life is to be taken as a composite whole in which youth and old age are equally important and contribute together to the development of life as well as society.
No stage of life can be ignored. In fact, youth is nearly a preparation for old age when we ripe and mature in thoughts, aspirations, actions, and experiences. God has planned life very well. Youth is the period of doing and old age is the period of sharing your experiences which one has gained by burning midnight oil in proving one’s worth in the race of this life. Old age is the time for contemplation and spiritual serenity.
TS Chawla can be contacted at:
M : 9316917706, 8591906647