The elderly in India
World Senior Citizen Day holds significance in India as our nation is one that is rooted in tradition and culture that prides itself in respecting our elders, related or not. While India is recognised as a young country with around 22% of our population comprising the youth, what isn’t as well known, is that our elderly population is also quite high. In the 2011 census, the 60+ population accounted for 8.6% of our total population. The number was slated to increase to 10.1% this year which means that the number of individuals who are 60 years old and above was estimated at 137.9 million for 2021!
Incidentally, there has also been a rise in the number of old age homes in India. From approximately 500 homes in 2016, the numbers have risen to 728 as of June 2020. A study has shown that there could be a 25% annual increase in the number of these homes in India.
The increase in the number of old age homes
As mentioned above, we are witnessing a tremendous increase in the number of old age homes in India. The most obvious reason for this worrying trend is the migration of children from their hometowns to metropolitan cities or overseas in search of better education, jobs, and improved lifestyles. With globalization opening up multiple possibilities, the younger generation is motivated to grasp opportunities and have little difficulty in moving out of their parental homes and adapting to new environments. A large chunk of the elderly population, however, prefer to stay back due to poor health, attachment to their homeland and perhaps, even contentment with where they are.
There are many NGOs in India who run old age homes for senior citizens who are sick and abandoned by their families. These NGOs provide homeless senior citizens with adequate food, clothing, shelter and also medical support. However, they rely on donations to provide these basic necessities.
There is a way to ease the burden on NGOs while also helping the senior citizens. We can achieve this through crowdfunding.
How can crowdfunding provide assistance to old age homes?
Crowdfunding is a concept that has started to gain momentum over the past few years. It typically involves groups of people from different parts of the world who contribute to causes that range from medical, social, educational and also personal.
One has the ability to start a fundraiser on behalf of an old age home or with an NGO. Once the fundraiser is approved, it can start receiving donations from a large community of donors who are always willing to help. Donors understand that the senior citizens living in these homes deserve a better quality of life and hence they reach out to help these senior citizens in their hour of need.
Donating to fundraisers in support of old age homes is another way to make an impact. The funds that are collected are transferred to the old age home/NGO. They can then use these funds for their daily expenses and also improve the quality of life of senior citizens residing at these homes.
An initiative like this will make our senior citizens realise that they are not alone. Far from it, they have the support of a much larger, virtual family who are rooting for them and their well-being.
On this Senior Citizen Day, let us sensitize our youth of today on how they can help senior citizens living in old age homes. We should also make our elders aware of the laws in place to tackle abuse by those they love. They deserve to have peaceful times with their loved ones as they enter into a new phase of their lives. This will only be possible if we strive to make our community a better place for them to live in.
The author is Co-Founder and COO, ImpactGuru.com
Khushboo’s LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/khushboopjain
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius