In eleventh episode of Satyamev Jayate, Amir Khan talked about the pitiful condition of some of India's oldies, who are unfortunately struggling to find a living, in spite of entering an age, when their kids should look after themselves.
Amir presented the stories of several elderly people like Krishna Dutt, Ashok Panchal, Mangla who either live in old age homes or elsewhere after being thrown out of the house by their own children in their time of need.
The show researchers took the viewers to small villages of Tamil Nadu, where some cruel family members do away with their elderly relatives. Called 'thalaikoothal,' the practice involves giving an elderly person an oil bath early in the morning and making them drink a lot of tender coconut water, which eventually results in renal failure, causes high fever and death in a day or two.
Promila Krishnan, Correspondent, Deccan Chronicle did a research in a Tamil Nadu village and discovered that the children were killing their parents suffering from illness in their old age. She contacted a quack (fake doctor) who kills them by injecting a poisonous injection.
Winnie Singh from Maitri India in Vrindavan said, “Parents are seen as a burden on their children. When the women, living at old age homes, visit their children once in a year with all their belongings, they return depressed as they are ill-treated by them.”
Mungesh, who works in an old age home in Mumbai, said, “It is sorry to see the children showing reluctance in paying the fees to the old age homes where they have forced their parents to live.”
Himanshu, from Old Age Foundation, said, “People do not prepare for their old age. A person who retires at 60, must prepare for 20 years of life lying ahead, as well as for the wife who may live even longer.”
“However” he said “money cannot last for 30-35 years, therefore, a person must keep working as long as possible. Also, those ill-treated by their children must tell their agony to each and everyone which would help them fighting the problem.”He advised, “Do not transfer your property to your children or grandchildren until you are alive. Share love, not money.” He also emphasized on the need of laws for protecting the interests of the senior citizens who comprise of about 23 percent of the total voters.
Dr Archana Kaushik called for the state governments to provide old age pensions to this section of the society. She revealed that at least two-third senior citizens need economic security for their survival. The governments of Delhi, Goa and Tamil Nadu already have a provision of distributing old age pension to the elderly people.However, the amount is meager and the norms tough, making only 8 percent of the needy availing the facility. She also called for setting up old age centres in a symbiotic existence with schools where the aged and the kids support each other.
Mrs Neelam from one such centre like Aayudham, present on the show, said, “We teach the kids, play with them and are reaping happiness from this achievement of leading the youth. We are fit and enjoy life to the hilt.”
Leina Joshi and Jayant Joshi, 79, married seven years ago, arrived on the show to share their second marriage experience. They said, the society must accept such couples as they need a partner at this stage in their life.Since property dispute emerges as a major hindrance in remarriage of the lonely senior citizens, a distinct initiative was taken in the first ever live-in relationship conference in Gujarat. The aged looked for a partner with whom they could spend the rest of their lives. They shared the mantra “Do not retire, but revive”.
Becoming an inspiration for many, Narayan Mahajan, 91, from Pune, has registered his name in the Limca book of Records for becoming the oldest person to do mountain raffling. He said that the people must be satisfied, keep their expectations low and avoid stress.He advised the senior citizens to eat half, drink more water, work three times more and laugh a lot.Presenting another such story, Chandro Tomar and Parkashi Tomar arrived on the show. They have won several medals in shooting at the state and national level.
The episode highlighted the fact that though the Indian culture is known for its respectful attitude towards our elders, the reality begs to differ and India has a huge number of old people, who have been shunned by their children.The show ended with a question,"Do you love your parents as much as they love you?" and that's precisely what we'd like to leave you with!
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