Old is gold!’-So goes the saying. This could as well be true of humans, i.e., the aged people. For these people carry with them vast knowledge, wisdom, rich experience, etc., -having undergone the vagaries of life and seen it in all its aspect. They deserve to be respected, revered and treated well.
The reality, however, appears to be different. What we witness these days is the sheer neglect of these oldies. Children, as they grow up, tend to forget their moral as well as social responsibilities towards their parents. They seem to have a short memory of the love and affection showered on them and the sacrifices made by their parents-who have now grown old and need the support of the offsprings.
What is normally obtaining in present-day society is that, once the children get settled in life, they tend to neglect their own parents. In the olden days, there used to be few such cases. But, with the gradual erosion of moral values and familial bonds, and growing materialism, the number of cases have increased manifold.
The phenomenon of neglecting one’s old parents is not confined to
the economically weaker strata, as
had been the case earlier. Even the
educated, elite and the well-placed adults can be seen neglecting their
old parents.
This has given room to the alien culture of establishing old-age home-which, till a few years ago, were not know to the country’s culture-to shelter some of these unfortunate ones. In Nepal there are two kinds of such homes-one for the neglected, orphaned parents: on the other for those who are neglected but are able to pay for the service rendered at the homes, either themselves or by their children (in very rare cases).
Lastly, I wish to conclude with the fond hope that the modern culture of old-age homes would soon disappear from the country, with the familial bondage reverting to its past glory; that education would render better wisdom and confer the best sense on the future generations.
On an optimistic note, I even
wish that those without living parents and who are financially sound,
would consider adopting and
accepting at least one needy, old person and give him/her the much-needed love and affection, beside
financial security.