Skip to main content

India's 50% parents in old age live "miserably": Lonely, isolated, without care, support

By Ashok Kumar*
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) and HelpAge India, the population of senior citizens in India is expected to reach 173 million by 2026, and they will constitute one-fifth (20 percent) of country’s population pie by 2050. Parallel to their growth, their problems are also increasing simultaneously in the changing cultural scenario and loneliness is one of the most terrifying aspects of their life.
One of the main causes of stress and depression in millions of elderly people, who often live alone or with the spouse, is absolute poverty and distress. Apart from all these touches of melancholy, lack of income security and access to quality healthcare make their life more vulnerable and fragile.
Quite often, they tend to give up, withdraw themselves, doubt their own abilities and easily become victims of negativity, frustration, helplessness, and begrudging attitude. They give up all hope and courage, forgetting that hope is their ultimate power, it is a lifeline for all humans and just as oxygen is must for us to survive, hope too is important in our life to live and grow happily and healthily. Therefore, losing hope is suicidal. We need to behold and cultivate hope in our life and we must also inspire others for embracing hope, especially to the Senior Citizen’s Community.
Rather, a positive mental approach can lead the life onto a progressive track. First of all, they have to concede that life after retirement is the Third Stage of our Life and it is the most precious and important aspect of one’s life. We must treat it as our “Third Youth” and should live it joyfully to the fullest extent. In fact, the status of Senior Citizenship should be treated as a “Badge of Honour” with the utmost respect and dignity. However, in reality, old age is perceived differently in our society. The general feeling about old age is very gloomy and self-defeating.
Due to fast-paced life and growing livelihood challenges, families, especially in large cities, are unable to pay adequate attention to the aged members; parents and grandparents. Eventually, they become the victim of loneliness and depression. It is really unfortunate that more than 50% of parents in their old age are living a miserable life; lonely, isolated, and without any care or support from their children and relatives.
Parents who spent their whole life in raising their children, taking care of their education, using all their hard-earned money, time, and energy to make them capable of living a comfortable and joyful life. It is really painful that many such parents are forced to live a life full of negativity and acute frustration which is a grave situation and a matter of serious concern for the government and society as a whole.
Let us try to understand as to what is the root cause of this problem which is spreading like an epidemic in our society. Probing a little into our social system you would find that the genesis of this problem lies in the fast changing lifestyle, rapid modernization, urbanization, cut-throat competition, mad rat race for jobs/careers, and desire for becoming rich overnight.
These incessant material desires have resulted in breaking and destroying the rich old joint family system. Families are getting divided into smaller units and people are moving in large numbers from rural areas to urban city centers. All this has forced the old-aged parents to live alone and isolated life without any support from the children.
The emotional attachment of parents and children is diminishing very fast and ethics and values are the victims of this rat race. Our education is also a big contributor to creating this mess in our society; it has failed to create values and happiness in the lives of the people. Irrespective of their age, people are becoming increasingly bankrupt, emotionally as well as spiritually. Money has become the prime focus of the present generation in the absence of humanistic values and character building.
Children no more have any respect or gratitude for parents, teachers, and elders. The increasing incidences of violence in schools, keeping and using arms at a tender age and injuring the fellow students and teachers, these are the matters of serious concern for the government, policymakers, and educational experts.
An ancient Buddhist scripture, “Sutta Nipata,” states, “Though being well-to-do, not to support father and mother who are old and past their youth- this as one’s downfall”. Means, those who do not care and support the aged parents when they need the most are bound to suffer and face their downfall. Aging societies can flourish only if they embrace the ethos, give high respect to the elders, and spend quality time with them.
We shouldn’t forget that every human being is respect worthy and must be treated with utmost reverence. Every person is born to live a life of hope, joy, true happiness and dignity. We should all make honest and sincere efforts to promote these values in our society. We must inspire and encourage our children and youth to help and support elderly people by sharing their time, money, and happiness.
On the other hand, we encourage our senior citizens to realize their own and unique potential and share it with society. No doubt, dejection is a serious problem for them, but it shouldn’t be considered as the part of fate. Life can be moulded in a better shape with positive thinking and hope. Elderly people can definitely live a happy, healthy, and long life by looking ahead and striving forward courageously with a positive attitude towards everything they come across in life.
---
*Executive Director, AAP International

Comments

Nshiness said…
Thank you for sharing the useful Information. I'm looking forward to More Updates from you.

Senior Citizen Retirement Homes in Chennai
Luxury Senior Citizen Homes in Chennai
Retirement Homes in Chennai

TRENDING

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.

In defence of Sam Pitroda: Is calling someone look like African, black racist?

By Rajiv Shah  Sam Pitroda, known as the father of Indian telecom revolution, has been in the midst of a major controversy for a remark on how Indians across the regions look different. While one can understand Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking it up for his electoral gain, suggesting it showed the racist Congress mindset, what was unpalatable to me was Congress leaders – particularly Jairam Ramesh, known for his deep intellectual understand – distancing themselves from what Pitroda had said.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

Palm oil industry 'deceptively using' geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9.