Age is not just a num­ber

Down to Earth - - LETTERS - MAHE SH KU­MAR

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.


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