Wednesday , August 21 2019

Is Age Just A Number?

Or with an increase in age increases your risk to be abandoned by their sons and daughters? Ageism is widely prevalent and to celebrate the talents, hard work and the important role that the elders have played for the society is celebrated each year on October 1 as the International Elderly Day.

For every child, his parents are most important and they are closest to their parents. Parents sacrifice so much for their children that we as children don’t even realise until we go through the same phase. When we grow as responsible adults, somewhere behind, we leave our parents for our aspirations and don’t realise that they are getting old. Now their bodies don’t have the same physical strength. They need our love and time. But in our hectic schedule, we don’t have time to listen to their worries, answer their insecurities and they become helpless. Most of the elders have given all their financial assets to their children. So they are financially dependent on them.

When Kanubhai Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi) his wife moved to Guru Vishramvridh ashram, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi called him and two Ministers to pay them visits.

This made highlights but, we are unaware about the 69%  increase in the number of senior citizens residing in Old age homes in the past 4 years.

Due to this rising concern, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act were passed in 2007 by the Parliament. But only a few people file complaints against the behaviour of their children as they do not want to sully their family name by taking their children to court.

If you visit any Old age home, you can easily observe the pain in their eyes, the wait to see their kids, the hope that their children will take them back to their homes. But this generally doesn’t happen. They keep waiting for a call, the operators call their children but it’s no good. Even when the operators call to inform about their demise, due to lack of time and love for their parents they sometimes tell them to criminate their bodies without their presence. This is shocking for the others staying in the same Old age home. They finally accept their destiny and with other old people going through the same pain, try to live in the present and share their life stories and pray. Even after their kids leave them alone when they need them the most, even after when their kids beat them, take their property and do not have time to visit or call them, they still are waiting in hope.

They do not need our money, all they need is love, time and support for their weak bodies.

In 2050, the population of the old people would be about 22% of the entire population. The aged population in Kerala is the maximum amongst all the states. With their increasing life expectancy, the risk that they would be abandoned by their sons and daughters is also increasing. The number of bedrooms in our houses is increasing but the family members are reducing.

Does this mean that the elderly day is just one day when their existence is taken into notice? Do they have no right to the children for whom they sacrificed everything? Is their life of no importance to their family members? Is money the only thing left to be looked after and not our parents?

We hope for a better life for the elderly, as they hope to reunite with their children. After all, our parents should get all the love and affection they deserve for making us capable of building our own houses where there’s no room for them.


Dakshta Gupta


Image Credits: Livemint

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