Sunday, November 23, 2008

Senior Citizens and their frivolous demands

Senior Citizens and their frivolous demands

Serious Issues

(Relatively) Frivolous Demands

Senior Citizens must get maximum tax concession.

Derogatory and disrespectful acts against Senior Citizens must be made a penal offence

They must get free or subsidized health insurance.

There should be separate queues in Temples, Post offices, Banks, bus stops.

Government must provide sufficient pension to poor senior citizens

Reserved seats for seniors in buses

Government must build Old age Homes

Separate pathways to walk in parks should be provided.

Train & Bus Transport must be subsidized for old people.

Free pick up and drop back facility for shopping & entertainment.

Safety & security of Seniors living alone must be ensured by the Police.

Ensure noiseless zones for older people

Seniors must be protected against abuse or cheating.

Children must be taught to look after elders with care affection and love

You will observe that column one by and large talks of serious issues and column two illustrates silly or frivolous demands. During the past few years I have read umpteen resolutions of Conferences, seminars, symposia and such other events connected with senior citizens. They invariably contain a long list of demands on the government, industry, the police and other sections of the society. The above is just a small sample of varied demands. There is nothing wrong in asking for the moon. Neither will the moon come to you nor everyone be offered a free space travel ticket to reach the moon. This IS the reality. Persistent asking may get us something at least, if not all that we want. So far, so good.

Having said that, what I find amusing is that in ANY group in the society anywhere in the world the group thinks only of itself in total isolation. This is a societal phenomenon. I have attended hundreds of librarians meetings in the past. Everything best in terms of money, prestige, facilities, privileges must be given to the librarian. Listen to physicians’ community. Same: We are the life savers, we are the most important gifted persons, the govt. is treating us badly, we are at the risk of anti social elements, our pay scales are poor, our working hours are irregular etc. Are the groups not a part of the whole? I have read hundreds of seminar papers on various topics. Many of them are lists of their demands that other sections of the society should fulfill. Many other papers turn out to be mere imaginary grandiose plans for their own future expansion -- "Every one in the world must be connected by computers whether he is in the huts or Himalayas" type.

Coming back to senior citizens, they claim that they are a mature lot. After all when one becomes older, it is a fact that your contribution to society diminishes. You are more at the receiving end rather than at the giving end. Naturally the treatment meted out by others change from 'respect' to 'contempt'. What is wrong? Merely because of one's age should anyone be respected and treated with all honors? Those days are gone. Senior citizenship is just ageing -- Is it like a government job where one 'works' for 40 years and gets paid pension for the rest of his life, in some cases it is twice the number of years of 'work'?

If we seniors gain any maturity as we age, this should result in tolerance, acceptance of reality of life, and setting practicable targets or demands. Should the community of senior citizens behave just as other sections of the society -- thinking only about themselves all the time in total isolation? Is there anything that we can by ourselves do in tackling the problems faced by us?

(This article is addressed to senior citizens by a senior citizen)


1 comment:

  1. This is a very balanced and mature article addressed to senior citizens by a senior citizen. If all of us, senior citizens, have half the wisdom of this author, life would be very pleasant for us and others. I am also a senior citizen. "God, give me the courage to change the things I can (ie, my attitude) and accept the things I cannot (ie my old age and the accompanying physical and mental deterioration) and the wisdom to see the difference!