K. M. Atikur Rahman
Senior citizens are an important part of our society who ar at the ending stage of life. They are experienced and skilled guardians to their own families as well as the neighboring community. Those who are at 60 or above are called aged or senior citizens – they are both physically and mentally weak – on the other hand, they are going to be vulnerable as a whole due to the impact of globalization. They have a significant contribution to the society; but at the stage of ending life they are, as if, of no worth to anybody across the world. Global economic development increases sharply and along with the number of old home, orphanages are rising that create a big question about development. Actually this is called ‘cruel development’ as humanism is being hurt drastically. Cruel development attacks mostly the vulnerable group such as children, women and elderly people. The aged people are greatly helpless in Western developed countries and this trend is grasping the Eastern society gradually.Through Industrial Revolution in 17th century, economic and trade activities get significance and expedition. Industrial plants were gradually established across the Europe and then after it spread elsewhere of the world. When industrial goods and capitals increased dramatically, foreign trade started to spread from one country to another through marine routes. Thus industrialization, urbanization and migration are reached at present stage overcoming different hard ways. Then after, through Breton Woods Conference, World Bank and IMF have been established after Second World War and globalization started its journey formally across the world – world trade gets liberalized – communication technology spread worldwide. Following these processes, economic activities changed enormously as well as socio-cultural aspects goes to the stage of dramatic changes. At first, globalization hits the family structures and values – joint family system is going to break down – senior citizen and children become the worse victimized of them.
Migration (internal and external) is a common phenomenon in the present world. Sons have to migrate to any distant places for professional purposes leaving their parents in native residents (villages) alone or other helpless conditions. Moreover, newly married couples prefer to live in urban areas separately or individually – elderly parents sometimes regarded as burdens to them – aged people are frequently considered as one kind of bars to their private or conjugal life. They can not enjoy their conjugal life – cannot go outside wishfully – are not able to design their own lives when aged parents are living with them. Sometimes senior citizens do not want to leave their paternal home to live with their sons into urban or other places; so they stay in their own villages. Neither sons nor elderly parents are happy living separately from each other. When elderly parents live alone in a village or other places they have to do everything themselves: though they are sometimes unable to do those things. There a very few people to come forward at that time of troubles or hardship in daily life of the senior citizens in the age of consumerist age. So, frequently they have to drop tears from their eyes, as they feel helpless.
On the other hand, the family life of only husband-wife with their children cannot lead their lives well because the children or the female persons of those families become helpless. As both husband and wife have to go outside for job purpose leaving their children to the maid servants, the children grow in improper ways or being deprived of the affections from their parents. Similarly, the husband and wife (parents) can not be stable in the office leaving their sons home. As a result, they are unable to do their office duty properly. Hence, senior citizen may only be the remedial persons for this purpose that make a family happen and stable. Grand children always are naturally happy with the intensive company of their grand parents. Likewise, elderly people feel pleasure mixing with their grand children. At the elderly life, people get distressed for different reasons (diseases, death fears, financial crisis), children may be the super medicine herein. They can pass their times gossiping, walking and playing with their grand children. But all the activities have turned into an impossible matter to our society. In addition, it has already been a great problem in the Western World. International Father or Mother Day just reminds the sons to remember their parents living in the old homes. The remembering process has been confined only in the floral homage or arranging a prompt party. Hence, grief has turned into a festival that may be the cruel impacts of globalization; because globalization encourages people to make money for pleasure leaving humanism into graveyard.
Communication technology is a main element of globalization which has made people easier to communicate with each other especially parents living in distant villages. In fact, communication technology or social media makes a distance among the people. Especially youth community is spending their time more in face booking than for their parents. Face book friends are the nearest people in which their times are being passed mostly in complete enjoyment. Life is, as if, a phenomenon of only pleasure in the age of social media – based globalization. Romanticism, sexism, worthless love have been essential part of youths’ lives; whereas looking after the parents has been a silly matter to them.
Senior citizens are regarded as a burden in most of the societal spheres. The elderly people are being neglected everywhere every moment such as in transportation vehicles, roads, market, bazaar, bank, insurance, family, etc. Day by day the number of aged beggars is increasing on the roads and paths in urban areas. Sun, rain makes them tired and hurt, but they are running for only one or two taka from one to another. They have spent their whole life to their family as well as the society; but now they are too weak and helpless to go ahead. The number of old home is increasing every year in Bangladesh. Though it is unexpected place, it is a one kind of shelter for the aged men and women where they can live sharing something with each other. State authority has enacted some laws, rules and provided some allowances for the elderly people monthly; but they are so meager compared to the demand of elderly people. If sons can bear sacrificial and real religions mentality to their elderly parents, most of the complicacy regarding senior citizens has to be removed. Moreover, the government can increase the number and amount of allowances for aged people so that they can not make a great shame for us begging on the roads.
Author: MPhil Researcher and Govt. College Teacher. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
K. M. Atikur Rahman