Today world is heading towards new heights in terms of economic freedom, as the young generation is focusing on more innovative ways to lead their lives towards their achievements. Education on the other end is also on the top gear, which is also helping the youngsters to accelerate their progress, but on the other hand while propelling hard for their careers youngsters are missing the most important part of their lives i.e. their parents, who are roots of the family tree, ignoring the reality of life that if roots are not taken care, Whole tree will get dried up.

Where are we heading for? Its really a matter of deep concern to witness the ongoing scenes, where parents are insulted by their own children. It's hard when you're young and your parents are still instrumental in supporting you, once you enter middle age, however and your parents are very old, it becomes rather obvious how important it is to respect and support when they are approaching the old age. It’s shame the present generation is virtually losing respect their parents. If we see old age has never been a problem within our country where a value based, joint family system has been prevailing and even exists today in urban areas, moreover our culture defines the norms being supportive towards elders.

It is most unfortunate that several old age parents have started moving to, “Old Age Homes” as majority of children have no time for aging parents and being neglected they have walked out of their own houses in search of a journey with a group of people with whom they can share the same boat of life.

What has happened? Is it the “economic” problems in the families focusing more on lack of time by the children for the older parents or it is the lack of emotional support” from family members” further creating “a sense of insecurity” and feeling of “burden”, and old age parents considering it as an burden of insult but it is most uncalled to witness where daughters-in-law being rude to her old in-laws, this is a matter where old age family members are badly hurt both emotionally and physically.

It has been a big jolt within the society when in the recent past an 85-year old Man, a former Chief Justice and his wife, filed a petition in the Hon’ble High Court seeking respite from their own son and daughter-in-law, who they allege had made their lives a living hell. No doubt there are certain laws – i.e. Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 – to protect the elderly. However, when it is day-to-day living within the private confines of homes that is at stake, laws and the justice system are often at a loss to address the problems.

Above all the legal remedy is not the basic solution for this problem, whereas people need to constitute love, sincerity, respect, tolerance within the families ensuring life of respect and dignity for old age parents.

(Harpreet Sandhu is Author and Practicing Lawyer, Punjab & Haryana High Court.)

Monday, April 17, 2017