Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Nepal's Neglected Senior Citizens

First a note: I've been trying to post this since Sunday but all in vain. ERROR appeared at the left top of my blog, I was unable to post but the blog was working. I asked few blogger users and they shared my woes. But, surprisingly, it was working outside Nepal. Dileep of Ninetynine says it was blocked by the ISP World Link due to spam from blogspot. I'm not an IT Geek; am merely a person who loves to write and that's why I took to blog. My writer persona always precedes the blogger. So, here's the blog I wanted to share with you:

When I entered the Pashupati Briddhshram recently for a semi-cover story for Nepal Magazine, I was appalled to see the inhuman condition the neglected elderly people were living in.

Abandoned and ostracized from their home and family, these septuagenarians and octogenarians live a meager existence. Death is at their doorstep and they are simply waiting for it. As I hopped from one Day Care Center to another (there are at least a dozen day care centers and old age home in Kathmandu Valley), I realized the elderly are being grossly marginalized. This too in a society that venerates its senior citizens.

The healthier living conditions, better health care, eradication of infectious disease etc has brought with it the growing population of old people. Consider this. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, elderly consists of 6.5 per cent of total population (approx. 1.7 million). Projected figure for 2011: 1.8 million; 2016 2 million. This is a numerical caveat for demographers and policy makers alike.

What caused this? Increasing urbanization, intergenerational conflict, social change, longevity has brought with it the problems of old age-related diseases. Demographers point out that longer lives and falling birth rate are demanding a rethink of a fundamental ways government and society have so far tended to its old. The joint family structure of our society is gradually crumbling and job pressure, individualistic tendency and consumerism have imparted in the young generation a sense of alienation to their aging parents.

Internal migration and outmigration are other factors that contribute to this crisis. In rural areas, the youths are absent, leaving the elderly, women and children to cope with the crisis. In the end of 2006, the parliament passed a bill on elderly (Senior Citizen Act 2006) which enables aging to fight for their rights. Based on the Act, government has come up with various schemes such as helping private sectors to build Day Care Centers and Old Age Homes, discount for elderly in medical facilities and transport etc.

An official at a private Old Age Home told me: "Even donors don't bother about elderly. Who cares for the withering ones?" Those who advocate for the aging echo his sentiments. Pashupati Briddhashram, the oldest old age home is funded and managed by the Ministry for Women, Children and Social Welfare. Two hundred and thirty elderly live in inhuman condition. Most of them are frail and sick, deprived of care and love; others are dying. It is marred by acute shortage of everything from basic water supply to care givers. It feels as if you are inside a hellhole.

What is required is a meticulous planning for the future and rebuilding the family values. You can't simply impose laws in one's household. So, moral education, as one sociologist said, is need of the hour. Our elder citizens are in the dire need of care and dignity.

19 comments:

Chabahil Online said...

We should change our angle to see the elderly people.

http://www.chabahilonline.blogspot.com

Ravi said...

I also hav similar problem. But it is with 1500. Nepal telecom.

Saurav said...

Deepak dai, I had also made a two story on oldage home, one is two years ago in Tihar Fistival and another in last Dashin.
This is the reality that oldage people's are neglected but we have to find out some oldage home who are taking care to those peple. I know there are many old age homes in Kathmandu, but everyone can't be generalise in same way

MrRDX said...

when we were in campus, we used to go for social service hours in Bridashram. there saw some sad and bad facets of life...
सानो छ'दा मर्ल भन्ने डर,
ठुलो भए मार्'ला भन्ने डर
was how one old man ended his story.. though i had heard that earlier...they way he told after his story was really touchin..
all we did was went there, talked to them and listened to their stories and anectdotes..helped them doin their day to day work like cleaning room and washing cloths..
a small help and short time and they were happy again forgettin the old pains..
even if we learn to give time to old people and try to understand them...it would be so easier and better for them

nepalsites said...

i feel this is a really good article you have posted.

I remember going to that place a while back to give some blankets as charity to the elderly. Once you see the place & those faces up close yourself, believe me - you don't forget them easily.

On the other hand its not just the elderly in that place that bother me. Its the elderly that are within the homes and yet neglected that also need attention.

I see & hear people even say "yestari bachnu bhanda ta mare pani hunthyo (why don't they die instead of living like this)" to the elderly suffering in streets. That is the attitude of the "new working generation" that i really hate. My personal feeling is that if you can't respect your elders, you don't deserve respect either.

Nepali Akash said...

Im off the topic but folks lets poll if Vahsek should quit. Go to

http://nepaliakash.blogspot.com/

and vote on the polling on top of the page.

binisha said...

I read your blog and felt so sad with the conditions there... I want to go visit and do something possible...can you give me the address and the contact person from there? so that we can help in some way?

Help Aged said...

Hi Deepak Jee,
I really appreciate your manuscript related with older adults living in Pashupati Briddaashram. As the life expectancy of Nepalese is increasing, the problem will be more sorst in the coming days. So we should think ourselves for tomorrow.
Lets start to do some things for Nepalese elderly. If you are interested to do some thing I would like to welcome you through Help Aged Nepal. You can share your ideas through this blog or also can directly contact Help Aged Nepal helpagednepal@gmail.com .

Thanks
Hom Nath Chalise, PhD

Help Aged said...

Hi Deepak Jee,
I really appreciate your manuscript related with older adults living in Pashupati Briddaashram. As the life expectancy of Nepalese is increasing, the problem will be more worst in the coming days. So we should think ourselves for tomorrow.
Lets start to do some things for Nepalese elderly. If you are interested to do some thing I would like to welcome you through Help Aged Nepal. You can share your ideas through this blog or also can directly contact Help Aged Nepal helpagednepal@gmail.com .

Thanks
Hom Nath Chalise, PhD

bathmate said...

very nice blog......
i like your posting ,this is the better blog.
bathmateus

Sunrise Global Solutions said...

http://coomararunodaya.com/

Warren D. Griffin said...

Who wants not lead a healthier life? Obviously everyone. Most important part of our healthier living is healthy food. I think naturals are always better than other. So, I like to be stick with any type of natural food not only milk. I believe the most important part of our healthier living is healthier food.
Our Healthier Living

Prakash said...

fooding, clothing, health check up are the basic requirement for the elderly aged people. When is the time of their constricted desire to expand?
Keeping this in consideration, i had done study to find out the last wish of the superannuated people of kathmandu and chitwan. most of them had last wish to visit to the religious site of india before they die, some wish to fly in a plane, some wish to make a small temple in their village.The desires are simple but they have no hope of fulfilling it. i need some donors to fulfull their desires. anyone interested can mail me at: prakash_shs@hotmail.com

nandalimbu said...

Hello everyone! me n my frien in HK, came up with a plan to open a nice oldage home in dharan, a good n fresh one. If anyone could give us any suggestion like how should we get started or something? any kinda suggestion or ideas would be greatly appreciated. thank you

nanda
P.S.: mail to nandalimbu@hotmail.com

Simpson Paul said...

At most of the places When people get old, we send them to a nursing home for professional care and comfort.

nursing home compare

vyasa said...

Interesting to note that the state of senior citizens in old age homes is the same everywhere - neglected and dejected waiting to go.
As you seem to be interested in elders Would you like to talk to Sri Chattra Pradhan details below and write a story? I want to know more about SENIOR CITIZENS activities in Nepal.
==
Chhatra Pradhan
Block # 11/195
Aadarsha Marg,Binayak Tole,
Chabahil-Ganeshthan,
Kathmandu,Nepal
# 9851001411
Email: Chhatra Pradhan pchhatra@gmail.com
Chhatra Pradhan SSP(Retd.)
Secretary +
National Senior Citizens Org.Network Napal
Rotary Club of Durbarmarg-83172
Elderly Citizen Welfare Society,Chabahil
(Founder Member and Advisor)
==
I also read your interview (where YOU were interviewed). Great. It provides lot of useful info and tips to budding CJs.

i love and care said...

I would like to get in touch with you deepak ji and everyone who knows about or wants to work for the care of elders. Pls get in touch...alpa_b@yahoo.com

Prakash khadka said...

bro i'm looking for a perfect proposal to provide a assistance or we are interested for proving a material to the senior citizen of pashupatinath old age home. When I read a line donors are not interested in senior citizen. We decide to do our best to provide some material in this winter which will be need for them, so we need ur help -nist college students

Anne Leah said...

Nice celebration. What events do you usually get to have visitors? A long island retirement community that has plenty of social activities would be an ideal place to retire.