I was watching the 11th episode of Satyamev Jayate –a television programme of Amir Khan wherein he reveals the plight of the senior citizens in some part of India. It was so shocking to know that in Virudhnagar district of Tamil Nadu, people practice the act of “Talaikutal”- a practice where the old and weak are killed for not being able to take care of himself or herself. This is done through an injection administered by the quacks. The show also shares that in the past the weak senior citizens were buried alive and then the children and relatives go about spreading the words of how they got rid of the old parents.
Can you imagine how the same children you brought up with so much love and care kill you when you are old and weak and needs them the most. The show also had people from old age institutions and homes who talked on how we need to save our money now to remain financially independent when we are old. They go on spreading the message of not transferring the properties in the name of children out of our love for them. It is when they have got everything that they get rid of the old people.
This brings me to ask the question, “What is the condition of the senior citizens here in a country of Gross National Happiness?” Not as bad as India but then we might need to look into it. Some years back it was reported in some news papers of how the senior citizens spend their time along the monasteries and chortens seeking shelter. In the capital city old parents are brought as baby sitters by the office goers not so much out of care and respect for them. And we do not have anything called Old Age Homes for the senior citizens. I think it is time we put in place some security for the old people.
A final message to everyone out there: Secure your future by remaining financially independent.
By the way you should watch Amir’s TV reality show. This is one of the best TV programme I have ever watched. Amir tries to bring out the social issues in front of the public. Though it is a show designed for Indians and to create awareness amongst Indians we could learn a lesson or two.