IN OUR SOCIETY YOUNG GENERATION DO NOT SEEM TO FULLY UNDERSTAND THE NEED OF LOVE AND ARE FOR THEIR ELDERS, WHAT’S THE REASON BEHIND THAT?
You have raised a contemporary topic for discussion. But, I found that your question doesn’t resonate to each and every person. It is only for the few. If youths today didn't have love for their Parents and towards their Country they would not have spent important time in their life in gulf Country like Saudi Arabia to remove the burdens of thousands of Parents. They have worked very hard at overseas. Just to bring smile on their Parents’ faces. Otherwise, if they were here, they would have spent time happily together. When you look from another perspective, youths are better equipped to look after their Parent because they have understood the values of raising them from our hands.
YOUNG PEOPLE ARE MIGRATING TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES FOR STUDY AND WORK, MOST OF THEM LATER SETTLE ABROAD, IN THAT CASE, HOW THEY CAN TAKE CARE OF THEIR PARENTS WHO ARE LEFT BEHIND ALONE?
Getting settled at abroad is a continuous process and a milestone; we are not indifferent towards it. Centuries back this trend has been seen growing and from this Nepali society exists today. We must not forget this. Those people who go abroad for work have not made their Parents lonely rather they are alone themselves. They have left the happy and joyous part of their life like love from their Parents, friendships and celebrating important festival together with family. They are also abandoned from their rights. Due to lack of good governance they are not able to vote for their Country. In spite of this, I have come across many youths who have provided medical fees, money to run the household and celebrate festive seasons. Those who have gone abroad despite all odds and have made their Parents proud from their achievements and taken their Parents for convocation program have been witnessed. Due to some circumstances they might have been motivated by P.R. and green card. But those who have gone abroad through these facilities have done remarkably well. People like Shesh Ghale, Upendra Mahato made their identity in this way. People who have gone abroad these ways have given more security for their family and nation. Their Parents have got an opportunity to learn a lot and these can be passed down from generation to generation.
ARE PARENTS REALLY SATISFIED WHEN THEIR CHILDREN ARE SETTLED ABROAD? WHAT DO PARENTS EXPECT IN THAT SCENARIO?
In Nepalese society, you have Parents of two-three types. First are who want their children to get foreign employment and citizenship and pray to see that they green card or visas. Second lot want their children to become humanitarian and become successful public citizen, lastly some want their children to learn something and come back home and use them for living. Different Parents have different needs and they are satisfied with fulfillment of those needs. Aging Parents want their children to stay in close proximity so that they remain inter-connected to one another. Some parents are even mindful about getting their last rights from their own children rather than living with medical attention, proper food and clothing, comfort at old age.
THE NEED OF OLD AGE HOME SEEMS TO BE RISING IN THE CONTEXT OF NEPAL, DO YOU THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR OUR SOCIETY?
Yes, I totally agree to this. With progress and development of society and nation, improved living standards the quantity of elderly citizens are increasing in more numbers than in the past. For employment, training and study people have migrated to foreign countries. Lahures are seen in more numbers who migrate for foreign employment. For settling abroad with foreign citizenship and getting D.V. people have shown more inclination. Those who here and running homes they don't have time for not only elderly people but also looking after young children and search for day care centers to admit children. Due to this we need more elderly homes and day care centers in Nepal. Instead of free stay at old age home with fewer facilities we need the ones that are running with certain fees and can be borne by their children and provide lots of facilities.
DO YOU THINK PARENTS WILL BE SATISFIED IF THEY GET ALL THE FACILITIES EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT LIVING TOGETHER WITH THEIR CHILDREN?
I think time is very strong and is a necessity of today's world because how far children might be from their Parents, technology has become a vital medium to build a strong bond between them. Social networking sites like Facebook, Viber, Skype and Twitter etc. is becoming handy to even old aged people. It has been quite normal for parents doing a video conversation with their children staying overseas which has not only decreased the distance, it has also helped to make relationship even more deep.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF FOREIGN MIGRATION OF YOUNG GENERATION ON THE LONG RUN?
In a long run, it helps to form a new community in a society and spread our art and culture in foreign land. It also helps to import their culture, skills and technology in Nepal which further helps to build a new social identity mix with our community. But, it can also bring the confusion and conflict within the society which cannot be ignored.
HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR ELDER PEOPLE TO BE FINANCIALLY SECURED IN TODAY'S SOCIETY?
Being self-dependent is very important for anyone. It matters the most for old aged people, they will feel secured and satisfied if they are economically sound. Elderly people treated as assets by the people and government in foreign countries. So, in Nepal also it will be very fruitful if the government is able to provide sufficient pension to old aged people so that their valuable knowledge and experience will be useful for the development of the nation.
WHAT POLICIES CAN GOVERNMENT INTRODUCE TO BENEFIT THE HEALTH OF ELDERLY PEOPLE?
Like pension funds government also has to provide health facilities and bring policies that create awareness for old aged people and the newly forming state government has to take this matter as their duty and responsibility.
WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE A TEENAGER?
Elderly people are the valuable assets of the nations because since some decade the significance of quality education has been found in the Parents, so they spend their huge portion of their income for the education of their children. Investing in education is for development of personality of their children to make them more capable in their life. So, what I want to say to today’s youth and to those who are reading this magazine in their hands is very blessed ones because many youths who had started schooling with you have already left their education. Therefore, your first priority should not be green card, PR, DV of foreign land rather you have to love your Country and start taking active participation for the development of nation by doing own business and trade, modern farming etc. which have rich scopes in Nepal.
Prof. Dr. Biswo Kallyan Parajuli
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Prithvi Narayan Campus, Pokhara, Nepal