Caring for the elderly senior citizens
The Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary defines a senior citizen (US) an elderly person over 65 of age who is retired and living on pension. In Indian contest, the law enshrines a senior citizen any person, a citizen of India who has attained the age of 60 years or above. As per the population data of 2011 census there are around 104 million elderly persons aging 60 years and above.
As per United Nation Organization (UNO) population fund and help India report, it suggests that the number of elderly person is expected to go up to 173 million ending year 2026. From year 1961 to 2011 (50 years span), the increased percentage has jumped from 5.6% to 8.6% which is astonishing and alarming too. The elderly report 2016 reveals that 715 of the population reside in rural areas whereas 29% inhabit in the urban areas. In rural areas 66% elderly are men and around 11% women working within 60 to 65 years age group.
The reports further reveal that 76% persons are quoted married while 22% are widowed or divorced per elderly in India ending year 2016. With the passing years vis a vis inadequate caring the elderly persons are prone to multihued diseases e.g. Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Mental ailments owing to anxiety and depression leading to the eventualities of death. At this crucial dilemma, more intensive care is warranted for the elderly persons which, ifsoacto is not so. The scenario is painful and dismaying.
All through toiling life span, elderly persons sacrifice every bit for their siblings which ultimately go on diminishing and flicking and they tend to reach to dead end of the tunnel. They have to face a multitude challenges despite the fact that their siblings are well established and can look after them. The agony and pain they suffer stings them beyond imagination. This sad state of utter neglect follows their all hopes and aspirations and tears rolled in isolation and they have to solely solace themselves.
As per the policy of government, euphemism is warranted to the senior citizens are elders. These include physical, mental and physiological cares elevating from emotion stress else they are prone to anxiety, depression and age old ailments of multihued manifestations. But ironically, these grey citizens are facing a plethora of physiological and emotional distress, isolation and dependency thereby worsening the age old agonizing dilemma.
Compare to last century, there had been a steady rise in the population of elderly people owing to age longevity, decreased death rate and above all advancement in the field of medicines that way there had been an increase in the life expectancy. As per UN population report, number of elderly person above 60 years. In India will increase from 100 hundred million at present to more than 325 million ending year 2050.It has also pointed out that elderly person over 80 years of age shall be seven fold and India shall be second most age old country in the world. The figure reflect a gloomy scenario in the sense that 50 to55 million people sleep as hungry stomach every night and around 10-15 million people in India are blind and out of those 80% are elderly. Moreover elderly population of 60 years and above account for 7.5%-8% in Jammu and Kashmir alone.
In the changing social milieu, the younger generation is subject to search avenues for economic dependence for the elderly/ senior citizen when all doors seem to be shut owing to inadequate job avenue despite having their higher qualification and claim both in the professional training and allied expertise. With mounting urbanization coupled with modernization in unison are abysmally eating human values in more than one way leave aside caring for the elderly are the senior citizens.
Right from the day a child is born, the parents leave no stone unturned for the well beings and the best for their upbringings he or she should be left behind insofar as educational and extracurricular activities are concerned. And for such conscientious parents the hopes and aspirations do not make a stop. They put in the best of their efforts to make their famed brain to foreign drain; we call this as brain drain thus depriving their motherland and landing on foreign soil for better pay and perks with indelible stamp of being exported. The irony behind is that those who did all their dints in encountering all oddities and squabbles are their elderly parents or to say senior citizens. The so departed souls forget their culture, traditions and other rituals to the extent of their centuries old ethics and ethos.
Does our education system inculcate this sort of way out of demeaning of demeanor? Why those who fed and cared for are being fended and left in lurch at the mercy of god. This is much more irony of any kind. The teacher and the taught should reciprocally interact so that our progeny picks up the thread for caring their oldies and for all in respecting and caring for senior citizens.
The author is Former Dy. Conservator of forest, J&K