Once again I take up news items which recently have been appearing regularly – Robbing or murder of elderly person/s staying alone, latest being robbing and assaulting of a 79 years old woman in a posh colony of Delhi. She stays alone in ground floor of the building. Her son and married daughter are reported to be staying within NCR. The attack took place at wee hours of morning. She had put up stiff fight as she is quite strong but was beaten up, overpowered and gagged by the robbers. She somehow managed to press the warning alarm bell which brought her caretaker living on uppermost story of the building. She is lucky to have someone as caretaker but how many can speak of that? The question which comes in my mind is why should elderly, even a couple, be staying alone?
Some may not want to leave their familiar environments. My own grandparents, both paternal and maternal, continued living at their own houses as they were not keen to keep moving to different cities with their children who had transferable jobs, though within the state. They were frequently visited at regular intervals by children and grandchildren to ensure not only their safety but happiness also. I used to travel inter-city alone from age of 10 years or so to be with my paternal grandparents frequently. Summer vacations were spent equally with both sets of grandparents. Of course, those days the crime was not so high. But then a time came when their children forced them to shift with them as their health starting causing concern.
As per news items it is seen that lately even those with ailments are reported to be staying alone inspite of their children being well off. Is it due to desire of having independence or space by their children? Is it not selfishness to neglect the parents at their twilight years, specially when they are non-interfering and are more of a support, particularly in taking care of grandchildren when both parents are working? Don’t the elderly deserve happiness with their grandchildren in the fag end of their life? Are we becoming so insensitive to relations?
I think that we need to do introspection on this issue.