Apropos of the news story, “Family, govt roles must be balanced” (THT, June 30, Page 1), with the shifting paradigm in the structures of households, societies and economies, and gradual erosion of familial values, the ageing population is increasingly perceived as a burden. We are growing into a culture where senior citizens are often viewed as a drain on society. The elderly are often abused, mistreated and abandoned, in most cases, by their family members, and are compelled to silently suffer from within and outside the four walls of their homes. According to WHO, an estimated 962 million people aged 60 or over are living all over the world that comprises 13 per cent of the global population.
True, societies can benefit a lot while harnessing older people’s skills, knowledge, wisdom and experience. Sadly, only a little has been done to reap the benefits from their life experiences.
As per the census of 2011, the elderly population of Nepal was 2,154,003, which is more than 8 per cent of the whole population. Now, given the large migratory outflow, the falling fertility rate and a substantial increase in the life expectancy, it is estimated to stand above 10 per cent of the total population. This means rise in the ageing population is inevitable, and Nepal must make headway to adapt to the demographic pressures to effectively tackle the emerging consequences. Given the invaluable contributions made by the elderly people during their formative and productive periods, families, societies, private sector, non-governmental agencies and the state must put resources, legislation, functional plan and policies in place and guarantee their protection, financial security, long-term heath care, and physical, psychological, social, spiritual and emotional well-being, among others.
Som Nath Ghimire, Kawasoti
This is with reference to the news story “One tedious process” (THT, June 29, Page 9). It is really frustrating to learn that we still use the traditional method to get our official paperwork done even in this digital age. I don’t really understand why it has been difficult for the government to put a system in place that works more conveniently.
One of the reasons why the country lags behind is the lack of a digital system. It is very crucial for the government to cut the time of the people so that they can best utilise it in other productive areas.
It is important to do one basic thing, and that is for the public servant to allocate time and create an appointment system so that people do not need to waste their precious time lining up for some service.
One way of doing this is to give a notice of their turn on the mobile phone an hour before so that the folks can prepare and use their time more efficiently. They deserve this privilege because they are the ones who pay the taxes directly or indirectly to the government.
Therefore, the government can’t give a cold shoulder to the public.
Shiva Neupane, Melbourne
A version of this article appears in print on July 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.