- Family and Parenting
Joint families and nuclear families!
It is the commencement of Financial year!
It is the beginning of the financial year in India. Banks are busy with accounts closing, Income tax authorities are chasing defaulters for their dues, salaried persons and pensioners are adding up the total income to know their dues to tax department. Whether it is a Gregorian year or financial year, everyone is tense with their own duties and responsibilities. It is vacation time for children. Housewives are scratching their head to engage their children in useful ways. I am a retired person and what are my commitments in the beginning of financial year? Of course, I am a tax payer even after availing the concessions liberally made by the government for senior citizens. Only positive thing is “I am able to look at the computer monitor while keying in the words. Of course the dictation seems to come from my grey head which shows normal function of the brain network and a comfortable memory level. Of course, I too fumble with the letters in the keyboards sometimes with no problem, thanks to the editing tools. The typewriting skill, I learned during my sixteenth years still comes to my aid at the ripe old age of 73+ (few days remaining for turning into 74). Hence I must thank God for all that I have been blessed with at this age. A comfortable pension as well as my kith and kin taking care, if I feel sorry, that is really bad for me! I know many elders are left in the mercy of ‘old age homes or senior citizen homes”.
Joint family system!
The cause of drifting of family systems!
The culture of each country differs. While affluent or even middle class people in the West allow their children to move away from them, once they are married. But in India, it is a taboo! Joint family system was in vogue for many thousands of years. But of late, the elders who are staying in their native villages do not opt to shift to towns and cities where there is congestion, no privacy, sound and water pollution. The constant blistering of horns of automobiles, the exhaust smoke, the terrific heat and mechanical life and above all, the sons and daughters have no time to spare for even few minutes of courtesy talk. They may visit their children in towns and cities for few days but they retreat to their native villages once again. Why such things happen? There are many educated unemployed persons in rural areas. The job opportunities are available only in major cities and towns. Naturally, they have to shift their base, once they get job in a city or town. Especially after marriage, they have to move to the town with their partners. Accommodation in towns and cities are very costly nowadays due to more number of people migrating to towns and cities. As there is high demand, the rent is also exorbitant. A small family of husband and wife can manage in a single bed room flat with the salary of one. But when children are born, they need more money and hence the wife is also forced to seek employment at least on a part time basis. This is how most of the couples in cities and towns manage their households.
Senior citizen homes.
Technology and global villages!
Hence they invite their parents on important occasions and keep them for few days. Paucity of space and privacy force the elders to return. Gone are the days of very spacious village houses. In the villages, most of the houses have a spacious garden that extends unto the end of streets. While roads are on front and rear, one house will occupy the entire space between the two streets with a garden with many coconut and plantain trees! There is space for flower garden, vegetable plants with a well for the need of the entire family and cattle. There will be a cattle shed with two or three cows and buffaloes which are enough for the milk needs of the family! Also, each household will possess some cultivable land wherein rice and other grains are grown! Hence people were affluent in a modest way with their needs little! There were no TVs to spoil the mind of children and youngsters! There may be radio sets, newspaper and a modest library in the villages! People led a very contented life and they were never greedy or selfish. There was co-operation between various households. There will be common temples of worship with many festivals celebrated with the contribution of all. When all their children migrate to towns and cities, the elders lead a lonely life. This is the crux of the problem. Hence at least on some weekends, one may visit their parents and elders leading a lonely life in their villages! As human beings, we crave for recognition and a comforting word. But, this is gadget age. The world has shrunk to a global village. Nothing is a secret anymore. Everything is instantaneous with the many applications in our smartphones or tablets. No need to carry even a laptop! As I type this hub and post, people all over the world can access it instantaneously. Sharing through Face book extends the readability among our closer friends and relatives. Videos live, music live and any happening anywhere around the world is broadcast in moments with twitter handles. Every typhoon is predicted and people are alerted to leave their home and reach for safety. Thus loss of lives is greatly minimized. Still people could never escape fully from natural calamities and tragedies as we understand from media clips!
Old age homes!
Technology has become a friend as well as foe!
Yes, technology has become a friend as well as a foe! Senior citizens who are able to handle such gadgets are lucky that they need not drift away from their homes and complete many tasks. Communication is swift and anyone can contact anybody on the other side of the world in few seconds. This is some positive aspects of IT. But children hooked endlessly to the gadgets are really a sad spectacle. Not only that, they access prohibited adult sites without any senior care is potentially harmful to the life of children and youngsters. Hence there must be ‘child lock system’ in every gadget they access! Above all, we need moral education classes in every school around the globe wherein values are taught and respected!