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Monday, December 21, 2009

Old Face of india- Where is the Dignity?

I am writing this post because I want to share something that really pains me to see everyday. On the walk from the bus stop to my home I see several old ladies sitting on the sidewalks begging or eating left over food given to them.
And I wearing expensive stuff and enough money in my wallet to feed them for several days walking by without even glancing at them.
I do not glance at them not because I don't care for them but because the mere sight of them really pains me a lot.

Once for 3-4 days I even gave small change to one lady who used to beg there and I could see the happiness that lit her face when I used to walk by because she knew me. It made me happy too to help her in my own small way. Then one day she wasnt there and I was wondering what happened to her. And till now I always think of her when I pass by the spot where she used to sit.

But it does bring out the question of whether India really cares about its older generations.

The stories and incidents of children leaving their parents in old age homes,living separately or just chucking them out of their own residence are on the rise all the time. Is that the India that we were taught about?
Indians have always been proud of being a "family-oriented" country where family ties still hold effect even now there is a natural tendency to keep the family together at all cost.

Then why is it that we see so many elderly people begging and at others mercy for survival? Where is the dignity that used to be the prerogative of the elders in our society? Do not they deserve the same respect and dignity that our elders have?

Just because their family has forsaken them or they don't have families, isn't it our duty and their right to see to their well-being?

To know how a country is, people look at how the young generations treat their younger and older generations. Is this the image that India wants to project?

We have billions to spend on the national defense budgets but none to spend on the well being on old people on streets? We have billions to spend on Olympic athletes and none to spend on poor? We have billions to spend on Metro Rail and none for this cause?
There are several NGO's working in India for this cause as well as many individuals doing yeomen service.

But is that all? do our efforts extend just to that? What about the rest of us? There are 2 billion people in India. Why should our efforts be limited to just a few people?
If we are willing to adopt orphans why cannot we adopt these elders?
We have to remember that they were once like us and we would be one day like them too. Is that the kind of life we envision for ourself?

At that stage of life we usually live for the small joys of life. We have already spend our life and done what all we could. Why cant we give simple pleasures to them?
Cant we spend some time with them talking?
Cant we spend some money to get them things they always wanted?
Cant we give them the joys only a family life can give?
Cant we banish their isolation just by being with them?
Cant we give them something to look forward to the next day when they go to sleep?
Cant we give them a dignified end to life?
Cant we be more Indian that we are?

I always have and always will say " Treat others and you want to be treated".
Don't loose the old face of India...They are what made India as it is Today. They have given us a dignified life and a country to be proud of. So why cant we give them a dignified life in return?

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