India is an ancient country. We have a history of thousand years. In many ways India ,as a country, is a grand-mom to almost all other countries in the world. In a pleasant contrast we are also a country of young people. According to World bank report published in 2012 every second person in India is young ( person of working age). But it doesn't mean that rest all are old; remaining population is made of older or younger people. My specific interest was in knowing how many of them are old which typically means people above the age of 60 years. And data shows that 10% of them are old. It means every tenth person in India is old and this percentage is growing every day. By 2040 every eighth person in India would be old and then onward there would be steep increase in the number of elderly people around us. Are we, as a country and society, ready for this demographic change? Unfortunately answer for this question is big "NO".
Our countries infrastructural and socioeconomic changes are in fact creating a very unfavorable environment for elderly people. If I have to state a few major problems then they would be...
1. Cost of Living and Medication
2. Marginalization by society which is prominently young
3. Stress of lifestyle mismatch with current generation
4. Weakening of family bonds
5. Psychological side effects of loneliness
6. Elderly unfriendly infrastructure and provisions
7. Virtually non-existent elderly care system
All these factors have assumed big enough proportion to be looked into and addressed. Time has come that we proactively look into these issues and start creating necessary awareness about the elderly care which in turn may lead to favorable government policies, better focus from NGOs and possible attention from business community.
My friends we owe so much to this grayed population; now time has come to return the favor.