The news which comes in the national news paper that elderly parents are being harassed, neglected, and even thrown out of the home, makes a citizen of India shameful and sad. This country was renowned for its good treatment to elderly as well as to the young since ages. The reason was the profound ethical and religious teaching which was prevalent in this country from ages. India being a land of multi lingual and multi religious back ground never one could have thought to see that elderly parents one day could be regarded as unwanted stranger in their own house.
But, from a decade or two this unnatural phenomena suddenly appears with such a magnitude that one find himself bewildered how to accept it. Unfortunately this is a real hard fact through which the nation is passing. According to a survey 40% senior citizen living with their families are facing “emotional and physical abuse. ” It is reported that one old grand mother is being thrown out in the garbage by her son and grand son where she ultimately died. India was land where elders were treated with respect and dignity.
Mother and father in a house were just like a king and queen where they were treated as a commander of the house not by force but by the way of love and affection which was flourishing in the house. How this sudden change in the attitude of son of the same soil has appeared so abruptly. It is not the soil which has changed but the air and atmosphere of the land has gradually infested with foreign culture and artificial light and glamour as projected through the television and electronic media which has eroded the Indian culture of patience, gratitude and sacrifice.
These qualities have been replaced by selfishness, impatience and greed. The basic cord which was binding the family life in the Indian societies was contentment, but now with even economical growth in the country the false sense of competition and show off added by gradually increasing cost of living in major cities in particular and through out India in general has added up towards the swing of this abnormal behavior of neglecting the parents in their old age.
But the core cause for this type of behavior is the off shoot of a general apathy towards one religion in general The western cultural weaknesses of individualism at its height make its roads in our society which eroded our family bondage. According to a Non Governmental Organization (. NGO) namely ‘Help Age’ there is about 70 million pensioners in India. The frequent cases of old age abuse and harassment force Indian government to pass a bill “The maintenance, and welfare of parents and senior citizen Bill. This bill provides up to three months’ imprisonment for those who do not take care of their parents. But only one six cases comes to light, the study showed. This is simply because few parents would like to bring their children to court due to our old values and tradition. They will face the bad behavior of their children and tolerate it but feel shame to go to court. Anticipating the growing problem of old age abuse the government has already sanctioned to open 600 elderly home through out the country.
One thing we must keep in mind whatever the government or the society try to accommodate this old age problem, providing all the facilities, it can not give the mental satisfaction which a senior citizen find from the love and affection of their children. The report which the Help Age India gives is more disturbing. It says “At Help Age India, 30 years ago when we started supporting old age homes, every body said this was western concept. Today every body accepts this not a western concept, this is the reality. ”