This is a serious topic.
I had my fifth board exam today. And it was Kannada. So, like in every other language exam we had to chose between two options for an essay. And even though Kannada is my mother tongue, I find myself being more comfortable in English. Which meant out of the two options, I could only understand one. And I was happy that the topic was an easy one which I could somehow finish with my meagre sense of Kannada grammar skills.
But while actually attempting to write the essay, I realized it wasn’t that easy. Yeah of course, partly because my writing skills in Kannada isn’t that appreciable as such and mostly because of the intensity and depthness of the topic.
What it was you ask?
The disturbingly increasing number of Old age homes.
We did have a poem in the syllabus based on the sorrows of a granma separated from grandpa due to their kids, but never did anyone mention about shelters. So I was alone in the exam hall with my muddled up mind.
Now since I’m here back home, I thought I’ll try writing this essay again.
And since I’m kind of obsessed with Google Earth from the past couple of days, I’m going to use it to explain the gravity of situation.
First we go over India.
And then we zoom in.
Here’s Karnataka. A state in India. A state for all the Kannada speakers.
Then we zoom further in.
Here’s Bangalore. The state capitol of Karnataka and the Electronic City of India.
And the area of this small space on the planet is 709km².
And this small area of place has around 92 old age homes.
To give you an idea of how big this number is,
The total area of the country is 32,87,000 km².
And the total number of old age homes in the country is 728.
Bangalore itself has almost 1/7th of the total number.
You might say that it’s probably because Bangalore is a city and the entire country is too much to compare with because there are many small and large towns out there which don’t have any old age homes and Bangalore might just compensate with that.
But let’s look at another city- Chennai, the state capitol of Tamil Nadu- the state of Tamil speakers.
This city has an area of about 426 km²
And a total number of old ages homes here?
Let’s end it with the country’s capitol.
Area: 1484 km² (almost twice of that of Bangalore)
Number of old age homes: Around 50
Alright, you might still argue saying that the distribution might be uneven, what’s wrong in that?
Right. There’s no harm in the distribution. The problem is with that huge-ness of the numbers.
92 in one city? Do we really need so many for a city with around 9,50,000 people under the elderly population.
And I’m not really making a huge thing about something small.
Abusing someone is never something small. Talking about is never making a small issue huge. It’s already huge enough.
Reasons are plenty. And I hate to talk about them because they are the cause behind the plight of all the aged.
Why I can’t take care of you when you grow old?
- I have my own family. My own kids to take care of.
- I have to achieve my dreams and gain success in my job which leaves no time or space for looking after you.
- Old age means the most vulnerable age for diseases. I can’t take care of you if you contract something incurable.
Imagine having one of these reasons thrown at you, knowing that you are not wanted by the person whom you took so much difficulty in bringing up and helping them to stand on their own feet.
Whether it’s leaving them in an old age home or dropping them off at a bus stop and never returning back to pick them up so that they can remain lost forever, everything really proves that not only are these people who do these deeds, ungrateful but also inhuman.
There’s this really touching movie in Kannada called Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu
It’s about an old person suffering from Alzheimer’s whose son drops him at at an old age home because he gets a job in another city. Eventually the old man goes missing and its a story of how the son and father reunite. Highly recommended, if you can understand the language.
I know that just talking about it would make no amends. My own grandparents are living in my native with hardly any visits from their kids because everyone’s busy with their own lives. And half of them are busy trying to place their names as the successor to the family property, but rarely does anyone care about their parents’ health and well-being. And if any one of my aunts does take the initiative to go back to native to take care of her parents, she’s met with harsh remarks thrown by her siblings who are afraid she might seize the property to herself.
Maybe this is half the reason why I really wanted to voice out this issue somewhere.
Why can’t we just pause for a second and think, what kind of example are we setting our kids by treating our parents that way?
And you know what the worst part is? Half of the elders who are abandoned by their kids keep thinking and worrying about when will they reunite back with their kids who never show up, and life’s gone by that time.
I know this post was very unlike my other cheerful ones but I hope I could really make myself clear that if it’s your parents duty to take good care of the younger-you, just because they brought you to this world then you have an equal share to take good care of the older-them, because of all the million things they have done for you which you cannot repay back, no matter how many times you’re reborn.
Thanks for reading all the way through. I know it was pretty long this time. Will keep it short for the next post. Promise😉.