Traditionally, Indian families place a lot of importance to caring for the parents. Since time immemorial, elders in India have enjoyed a prominent position in society and in the microcosm of the family as well. But with the advent of the nuclear family, things are very different today. Remember your childhood when your grandmother or grandfather used to make you sit in the lap and tell you stories from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or about Mahatma Gandhi? More than parents, it was grandparents that would take care of the kids in most families. The burgeoning old age homes is enough indication that all is not well in the Indian family scenario. Changing social needs, stress on individuality, need for personal space and freedom, has led to senior citizens being sidelined. Since nuclear family is the preferred system, most older citizens are being left on their own to fend for themselves. It is in the winter of one’s life that a person needs greater care, love and affection. Unfortunately, the abuse of the aged is showing an upward trend over the years. The average life expectancy in the country has gone up to 60 years. Senior citizens constitute about seven per cent of the total population. In view of the general improvement in health care, this is expected to grow up further. Such a situation can pose challenges to the Government and society at large. Every youth should remember that they, too, would pass through old age some time or the other and be kind to the aged. Sana Warsia – Navi Mumbai News.
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