New Delhi: Drawing the attention of the youths, immensely engrossed in their pursuit for building a lucrative career, on the plight of elderly people in many families in the country, film star Aamir Khan in the 11th episode of Satyamev Jayate came up with some of the stories highlighting the agony of those who raised the present generation with great love and affection but are themselves deprived of the same.

Amir presented the stories of several elderly people like Krishna Dutt, Ashok Panchal, Mangla who either live in old age homes or elsewhere after being thrown out of the house by their own children in their time of need.

Promila Krishnan, Correspondent, Deccan Chronicle did a research in a Tamil Nadu village and discovered that the children were killing their parents suffering from illness in their old age. She contacted a quack (fake doctor) who kills them by injecting a poisonous injection.

While the nation is debating on mercy killing, the murdering of ailing senior citizens is rampant in the community. On informing the District Magistrate, she was assured of investigation in this regard.

Several destitute women living in old homes in Vrindavan and many more who beg on the streets and eat in langars were shown in this episode of the mega serial. They are cremated by strangers when their children do not take the pain to perform their last rites.  

Talking to Aamir Khan, Winnie Singh from Maitri India in Vrindavan said, “Parents are seen as a burden on their children. When the women, living at old age homes, visit their children once in a year with all their belongings, they return depressed as they are ill-treated by them.”

She said, the old mothers are just hungry for love and a hug is all that they desire from us.

Mungesh, who works in an old age home in Mumbai, said, “It is sorry to see the children showing reluctance in paying the fees to the old age homes where they have forced their parents to live.”

Sharing the real cause of the problem, Himanshu, from Old Age Foundation, said, “People do not prepare for their old age. A person who retires at 60, must prepare for 20 years of life lying ahead, as well as for the wife who may live even longer.”

“However” he said “money cannot last for 30-35 years, therefore, a person must keep working as long as possible. Also, those ill-treated by their children must tell their agony to each and everyone which would help them fighting the problem.”

He advised, “Do not transfer your property to your children or grandchildren until you are alive. Share love, not money.” He also emphasized on the need of laws for protecting the interests of the senior citizens who comprise of about 23 percent of the total voters.

Invited on the show, Dr Archana Kaushik called for the state governments to provide old age pensions to this section of the society. She revealed that at least two-third senior citizens need economic security for their survival. The governments of Delhi, Goa and Tamil Nadu already have a provision of distributing old age pension to the elderly people.

However, the amount is meager and the norms tough, making only 8 percent of the needy availing the facility. She also called for setting up old age centres in a symbiotic existence with schools where the aged and the kids support each other.

Mrs Neelam from one such centre like Aayudham, present on the show, said, “We teach the kids, play with them and are reaping happiness from this achievement of leading the youth. We are fit and enjoy life to the hilt.”

Concept of remarriage

Leina Joshi and Jayant Joshi, 79, married seven years ago, arrived on the show to share their second marriage experience. They said, the society must accept such couples as they need a partner at this stage in their life.

Since property dispute emerges as a major hindrance in remarriage of the lonely senior citizens, a distinct initiative was taken in the first ever live-in relationship conference in Gujarat. The aged looked for a partner with whom they could spend the rest of their lives.  

They shared the mantra “Do not retire, but revive”.

Becoming an inspiration for many, Narayan Mahajan, 91, from Pune, has registered his name in the Limca book of Records for becoming the oldest person to do mountain raffling. He said that the people must be satisfied, keep their expectations low and avoid stress.

He advised the senior citizens to eat half, drink more water, work three times more and laugh a lot.

Presenting another such story, Chandro Tomar and Parkashi Tomar arrived on the show. They have won several medals in shooting at the state and national level.


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