Elderly Abuse: The Stigma of Indian Society

By The Editor

Today, we shed light on something’s we prefer to overlook, a stigma on our society of the abuse of the elderly’s. Many seniors are lucky to have concerned children who take care of them in the eve of their journey but many more find themselves abused, neglected and alone at this crucial juncture by the very children they nourished, fed and brought up. The old age homes are silent witness to this betrayal of our core values and culture which acclaims the likes of Shravan Kumar who earned his place in our holy books by taking his blind parents on pilgrimage.

Government, NGO’s, media, citizens rarely mentions these problems, much less to take a decisive action. Often you can see or hear stories of some elderly widow or old pensioner in your neighborhood who is abandoned by his or her loved ones. Some find shelter in old age homes, some in temples or at a relatives place or an orphanage but most of them have nowhere to go. After all, who would accept someone who is kicked out of his own home by his own child. Some days ago a prominent politician objected the widows from poorer states coming to the holy city of Vrindavaan, perhaps her affluent mindset couldn’t comprehend the ugly truths of life that poor of this country face and much more the hardships that present themselves to the widows of the lower strata whose husband didn’t even have a pension on his name to leave behind. Often these ladies live on alms or donations of others, even from a moral prospective if not life, these dejected souls deserve death they wish for even if it meant streets of Vrindavaan.

Even those elders who didn’t have to suffer the streets don’t fare much better at home. It doesn’t even need an example, newspapers, daily soaps, magazine and movies often feature plight of these elderly souls. It’s ironical that the same people who abandon their progenitors expect their children to shoulder them in old age. Often money or property is the motivation but those who abuse these seniors forget the fact that one day they would get old too and bear the same brunt of old age as those they are harassing.

No government or law can fix this scourge on our society, we have to comprehend ourselves that our future is built on our past and by forsaking it we are giving up our hopes for the days ahead. Our generation especially should keep this lesson in mind because the way things are with economies now days, pensions and retirements would evaporate soon and our needs would be much more fraught. People may not realize but sooner or later they reap what they sow, our society still have chance to redeem itself, otherwise, we will suffer the same fate of those who have suffered at our hands.

One Comment

  1. shyam kumar sharma
    on September 25, 2014 at 11:47 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I fully agree with the above thought provoking views. These are facts of the life.It is not philosophy. Still there is time for we Indians that we stall our culture and values in our future generations. For this, one has to set example before his/her children so that they achieve the positive side of ‘you cut what you sow’. One should not only watch but also show film ‘Bagwaan’ of Amitabh Bachchan. As for remarks of a politician on widows coming to Vrindavan. I feel pity on the IQ of this individual. Though I do not want to be personal but the individual’s remarks have forced me to air my views , without any ill intentions, that one must look deep into the personal life of this individual. No More Elaborations. The concerned politician must realize that Vrindavan is not anybody’s personal property and that any Indian, by constitution, can go anywhere to either visit or settle. We must realize that if we can not do anything to such widows, who do not have anyone to look after them at this time of age and helplessness , we must allow them to at least die in peace at a place of their choice with dignity and fulfillment. If such widows or others get peace of mind in the lap of God Krishna’s birth place without disturbing anyone, they deserve it. The society must not condemn them if it can not extend helping hand to them. Pl ask this politician. why she has come to this place now- where was she earlier- why she did not air her views on widows earlier. It is because she has been obliged by a particular political party for vested interests and she has to speak something or other once in the constituency. I admire and am a fan of this politician but her recent remarks has hurt badly. This should not be coming from a lady. Time is a great teacher and it doesn’t spare anyone. Who will get what is a matter of time and destiny. Senior citizens not only deserve but are entitled to all support and sympathy from their children. People have craze to abroad for jobs and better life and prospects. But they should not forget their duties towards their aging and ailing parents. Annual features like ‘Father’s day, Mother’s day ‘ are not part of Indian culture. If that be the case, then why such children settled abroad want their parents to come and stay with them – only to look after their grand-children and that too till they are grown- up. What after that? Should they now go back to India or to some old age home? Their utility is over! One should not forget that it is these grand-parents who can successfully inculcate values of Indian culture in future generation. It is only these who can train these children how to look after their parents ones they grow old. Even if one Son/daughter of soil follow/understand my view point, I would think that I have succeeded in my efforts. Jai Hind.