We Fail our Elderly. Shame!

We Fail our Elderly. Shame!
  • 4
    Shares

Come winter, all sorts of issues and problems cascade in Kashmir. While the harshness of winter affects everyone, in different and differing permutations and combinations, it is felt most acutely by the vulnerable segments of our society, the elderly and the sick. This vulnerable but special segment of society is not just the responsibility of their respective families but also society, at large. (That they are not productive does not mean they are not special). The intense cold during winter in Kashmir exacerbated and intensified by the lack of facilities for winter and the generally abysmal state and condition of the availability of electricity can and actually does induce illnesses like pneumonia, colds and other assorted health issue and problems and exacerbates existing conditions. The effect(s) vary with the nature of these issues (conditions) and means to deal with these. Oftentimes, the poorer sections suffer the most. But, society appears to neither care nor feels responsible for the welfare of our vulnerable elderly. This not only is embarrassing but also constitutes a shame. For one, the elderly, because of obvious reasons are no longer functional in the sense of being productive but they are OUR responsibility precisely because of these reasons. Obiter Dictum, it may be pointed out here that taking care of our elderly is not our legal responsibility or obligation. No. Not at all, But, their care is our moral, ethical and religious responsibility and even duty. There would, at the risk of making an assumption, be consensus regarding this in our society. But, consensus does not mean merely agreement in our drawing rooms. It should translate into action. The question is how: being the responsibility of society, care for the elderly can actually happen when we pool our financial resources and employ these toward their welfare. There need not be defined contributions toward this end. (Any contribution can be of value). If and when these resources are pooled(which is also our religious injunction), heating gadgets like gas heaters, kerosene heaters, electric blowers, bukharis and so on and their continued upkeep throughout the length and breadth of winter , medicines, warm clothing and bedding must be made available for our elderly. This is the least we can do and can be done and we must not be lax here. There will come a day when we will ( if there is life in store for us) grow old and vulnerable as well. But, alas, at that time, we can do nothing but perhaps only regret at having missed a chance to serve!