KATHMANDU, July 10: I passed by an old man one day who was in his 70s, with blood soaked bandages around one of his legs, lying on the footpath, begging for whatever people gave.
He was helpless, vulnerable to diseases and uncared for. The whole incident reminded me of lack of provisions for the differently able and poor people of the country.
After the success of the People’s Movement II, there has been a change in our system and Nepal has transformed into a federal republican democratic country.
Unfortunately, corruption, abduction, murder and rape are still rampant. On that note, we can accept that neither the government nor the organizations involved in caring for the elderly and the poor have been able to achieve much.
Parents pour their heart out for their children but when the children are old enough to understand and support their parents, they leave them in old age homes instead. Many come on their own will while others are left there by their own blood because they are “unwanted”.
I had read sometime back that a helpless differently-abled woman, in her 80s, was held captive inside a sack with rope tied over her mouth. The whole plot was designed by her son.
She was thrown near the Bagmati River under the Sinamangal Bridge. With the help of locals and police personnel, she was rescued in an unconscious state and rushed to the nearby hospital for treatment.
All elderly people have the right to love and care. Isn’t it out duty to look to after our parents? It is definitely something we all should think about.
I still remember watching Nepali news channel airing the unhygienic conditions of elderly people living around the temples across Kathmandu Valley.
I thought to myself how they feel when their own have left them at such a stage. Parents deserve love and care from their blood and I think it is our duty and responsibility to take care of them.
Every time I visit the Pashupatinath temple, it’s saddening to see old people struggling and living in unhygienic conditions with no proper food or shelter.
I think appropriate authorities should pay immediate attention towards helping the poor and elderly. They should be loved and cared for and the government should put forward appropriate plans and policies to help them – the sooner the better.
The writer is a student of Masters in Rural Development at Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus in Kathmandu.