Age is not just a number
This is with reference to "Elderly & lonely" (May 1-15, 2014). It is sad to see the growing apathy of the younger generation towards the elderly. Old age is part of life cycle. Ideally, it should be the responsibility of the children to take care of their ageing parents. But this philosophy has undergone a drastic change in recent times. Today we live in a world where money is valued more than relationships. The preference for nuclear families and the growing trend of children moving out of their homes looking for greener pastures have left elderly parents lonely and struggling to fend for themselves. Worse is when children send away their parents to old-age homes because they neither have the time nor resources to look after them. Young people should remember that they too will grow old someday. Would they like to be thrown away in an old-age home by their children?
Considering the mounting problems of shelter, old age and healthcare the elderly people face, the government should initiate measures that make day-to-day life easy for the greying population. Travel is one such area. The Delhi Transport Corporation has done a good job of providing monthly passes to the elderly on payment of a nominal amount of ` 250 for non-AC buses and ` 350 for AC buses, which apply to all routes in the city. The Delhi Metro can
do its bit. It is common to see elderly people struggling to find a place in the crowded metro. Although a few seats are reserved in each coach for senior citizens, these are insufficient. The authorities should introduce a special coach for senior citizens, just like they have reserved a separate coach for women passengers. Auto and taxi drivers could also be sensitised to offer concession in the fare for senior citizens.
CHINKY SHUKLA / CSE