Exit for the elderly
Editorial

Exit for the elderly

June 20, 2017

Thanks to the steadily rising mark of life expectancy for both male and female sections of the land’s population, not only the percentage of the elderly in the total mass but also their headcount have been increasing currently, going by officially published data and information on India’s demography. As if to substantiate that scenario portraying senior citizens, numerically in particular, they can be seen outnumbering the less-than-sixty class in urban spaces at various spots such as music concerts, seminar halls of institutions organising talks on both topical and academic subjects as in Mysuru, counters of civic bodies to remit taxes on property or paying water and electricity bills as well as neighbourhood shops selling daily needs, not to forget early morning walkers in parks. One doesn’t have to ponder too much to know where the young in society are to be found  — malls, cinema complexes, pubs, joints offering exotic dishes, evening functions in colleges of girls and, of course, rallies and road shows which are common sight in all cities.

In the era that has clearly emerged, roads are getting wide and living spaces shrinking with the obvious consequence of houses hosting nuclear families, showing the exit door to the grandpas and grandmas at the evening hours in their life, unfazed by the fact that the grandsons and grand-daughters of today shall get their turn for exit on a later day.

The street-smart grandpas, accounting for a small number in the land with adequate provisions for living without depending on the grace of the their own ungrateful progeny, are the best role models for those who are driven to the corner as it were, to languish in despair. Homes for the aged and destitute, created both for profit and selfless caring by either individuals or trusts may address the predicament of the elderly to some extent, but that doesn’t absolve the gen-next of their moral responsibility and bounden duty to care for their seniors in the respective families.

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The elderly of Mysuru could be heard cursing their lot murmuring the line “The town is showing the exit door and the woods are beckoning ” (Ooru hogu antha ide, kaadu baa antha ide, in Kannada). The headcount of the elderly is estimated to account for one-fifth of the total population in the course of the next three decades. They are forewarned that they are unwelcome in the same homes that were theirs until the other day. A survey conducted by HelpAge India recently has revealed that Bengaluru is least hospitable in the country to the elderly. Mysuru may be seeking the cleanest-city-tag, but its citizens can earn greater glory by seeking the most-elderly-friendly-city tag in the land.

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