RAWALPINDI: An old man listening radio in a Welfare Home for Old and Infirm Persons Sadiqabad at as world observed International Day of Older Persons. INP PHOTO by Raja Imran

Old age homes growing, are we heading towards moral breakdown

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Your parents showed you the world, in return you showed them the old home… is a well known quote that depicts the moral breakdown of West’s social family system. But unfortunately due to modern urbanization and non-adherence to Islamic values our society is also heading towards this decay and the number of old homes and inhabitants is swiftly increasing.

” Dearest and nearest leave us alone when selfishness blind folds them” a 57 year old Rashid Ahmed an inhabitant of a an old home at Shehzad Town said. He further said he was a Master Chef at Saudi Arabian embassy and claimed to introduce fast food in Islamabad in 1976. Disclosing his another talent he said “I am a skilled Tabla Player and used to play for many famous singers. I broke my marriage for my own siblings but in my time of need they asked me to leave home”.

A 65-year Falak Naz, resident of Khanna Pul telling her tale said she came after a brawl with her husband over the matrimonial issue of her daughter. Her husband and eldest son beaten her and forced her to leave the house.

“I could not allow my husband to merry my daughter with a drug addict. Don’t I have any right over my children after sacrificing entire life for them ?”, she complained.

“Wealth and property are the mothers of all ills. I was admitted here by my sons and grandsons after grabbing all my property and belongings in 2016. I don’t want  any thing back but just want to live among them. I want to see them flourishing but I am an unwanted burden for them now, ” share a painful story by an 80-year old inmate Ghulam Muhayiuddin Chughtai with tears in his eyes.

The stories of  70-75 year old ill-fated women Naseema and Zaitoon bibi at an elderly shelter home at Bahria Town were identical to the other dwellers complaining indifference and selfishness of their families.

The Managing Director, Pakistan Baitul Mall (PBM) Oan Abbas said they have set-up a home for elderly in Lahore and it was planning to roll back as it does not think it worth continuing due to insufficient number of inmates and there was no need to establish more in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

On a question of sudden surge, contrary to his stance, witnessed in privately owned old homes being set up in every major city, he replied that they may be for business purposes.

A representative of the old home said, “Humanity is our cause and running an old home is not a business. We need  philanthropists’ assistance as majority of the old age people left here are not owned by their families after a couple of months’ financial support to the institution. We spend our own resources to provide basic needs to these destitute souls. No matter how good we take care of them they still miss their children and relatives. My heart wrenches when I see them craving for their loved ones, ” she said. “We never demanded any money form the relatives of these destitute” she claimed.

Sadia Naveed a senior clinical psychologist said life in urban set up is getting too fast and every body seems to be short of time, money and patience to do justice with his/her obligations.

There is an unnecessary  race for more and more money and luxuries which is intoxicating and shattering the Family System.”The children think they are doing nothing wrong to keep parents in the elderly house that’s why demand for more old homes is increasing,” she added.

“Our society’s moral and religious values of taking care of old people are fading away and sooner or later it is feared that it may have moral breakdown and we too lose our great family system like West, she regretted in her final remarks.

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