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World Elders Day
The World Elders Day, a day when we remember the elders and most 'less talked about' people around. Lets us introspect what we have done and are doing for our elders, lets take out little time from our busy schedules to let them know what they mean!
TODAY, OCTOBER 1, is identified as the World Elders Day – a day when we remember the elders in our society. There is no hull bulla and very little prominence because elders are seldom taken seriously and a feeling exists that they are occupying precious place and breathing out too much carbon dioxide for comfort. Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise to learn that a day has been set aside in the calendar for paying tributes to the elders. Just last week we lost the veteran actor Paul Newman and the singer Mahendra Kapoor – the former had lived for 84 years and the latter for 74 years.

Then there is the evergreen hero Dev Anand who, at 85 years, is contemplating one more of his movies and politicians who are mostly above 80 years of age. They are mature, have enormous experience in handling people and situations and are not confined to only India but are a global phenomenon. It seems, the logic is that the more you have aged, the more is your effectiveness – like wine, it is the age that counts. That is why the Japanese have launched a new range of nappies for elders because their estimate is that in a few years time, there would be millions of centurions.

However, side by side the feeling of goodness is the problems that elders face – the most problematic one is of social security. They lead lonely lives and the frequency of attacks on these helpless persons by their servants and domestic helps is a cause of concern, the police staff is inadequate and in many of the cases, the deaths are discovered very late. The neighbours complaint of stench emanating from behind closed doors and when the doors are broken down, the horrific deaths are unearthed. The reason for elders living isolated lives is that their children have migrated to greener pastures and feel that the elders can take care of themselves if the monthly remittances are made.

What is necessary is for suitable measures to be adopted by the police and also by the family members to keep track of these old souls – they should not be neglected. One method is to have positive systems like regular telephone calls, providing them with instant alarm systems, gadgets to help them move about within the confines of their rooms or even out of the premises. Extending special privileges like concessional rail tickets and providing them with a 0.5 per cent extra interest on fixed deposits is not the ultimate solution.

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