Respecting the elders is respecting our own God, Its’ shameful saying that “I believe in God without respecting the elderly people. Problems faced by the elderly people are enormous and it has been negligible.
It is said that India has around 90 million of aged people, over 30 million of whom live alone, over 56 per cent of those who live with their families reported being abused either by their sons-daughters’
The UNFPA in collaborations with the Population Research Centre, the Institute of Economic Change, Bangalore; the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi; and the Tata Institute of Social science, Mumbai, have conducted have conducted a research during the past year 2009-11, the research includes 7 states of the country, namely:- Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha & West Bengal.
The above states in the country are mainly focus as those states reported a higher percentage of the elderly than the national average; it covered 9329 in both Rural & Urban households.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and HelpAge India is an eye-opener for all, they have come out with a terrible finding with the hidden problems faced by the elderly people in the country and let us know the world, their research reveals that Out of 12 million elderly people are living alone, over 12 million are blind, most of them were abused as a matter of routine. Disrespecting is the common form of abuse, followed by neglect and verbal abuse.
Of those who are abused, 69 per cent are the owners of the house which they were living in, over 80 per cent of those abused did not reported it to anyone to uphold family honour. The study also reveals that by 2050, India is likely to have 315 million elderly people, who will constitute 20 percent of the total population.
Moreover, women over 60 years of age would exceed Men by 18.4 million, among age over 80; six out of 10 were widows ; among men aged over 80, two out of 10 were widowers. The study found that over 39 per cent of the elderly men and 11 per cent of women over 60 were forced to work to earn their livelihood. Through the study is well clear that though the government had framed a National Policy for older people in 1999 and enacted the maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens Act in 2007, which ensured that children’s who neglected their parents could even be jailed, the mechanism for operationalizing them had not been put into action.
Undoubtedly, the problems faced by the elderly people in the state (Manipur) and her neighborhood seven sisters (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim & Tripura) will not be less difference with the seven states which reported a higher percentage of elderly people in which the UNFPA and HelpAge India have conducted a survey.
As a good citizenship of the world, and a responsible person, it is a privilege to change our attitude towards the elderly people either in the family or in the society. Changing only the old systems of the govt. and its policy is not the whole change in modern age. Everyone is willing to make a change & develop in society. The said change in today’s world may not be the only change in particular issues.
Besides politics and economics, I find change in society also includes social change and its social issues like, addiction, aged people, street children’s, orphanage, teenage pregnancy, human trafficking, rape, kidnapping, violence against women in the society.
Change is within us, change begins from our own attitudes and it multiply once it begins. As a good citizens of the world it is of too much to ask or demand from the one who lead us, feed us, teach us, guide us today when they are no longer able to do so………..
Attitudinal change among the younger generation and the mechanism of which will ensure the implementation of the entire available scheme from the government and reaching all the elderly people in a grassroots level will be the best source of change in this issues.
Respecting the elder and honor the elderly people will contribute change in the society and family as well. How could we treat the elderly people like a dog while they were expecting us to hold their hand tomorrow and guide them which they have done to us?
Let us not wait the government to solve our problems individually, government will focus on the welfare of the society and let us taste the change within ourselves and Honor the elderly people in wherever we are.
Ending with the quote “seniors are God & junior are like a dog”
Can we treat our own God like a dog???
KhamLianLal@ Khams Zotal