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‘Naga children no longer take care of their aged parents’

By Our Correspondent Updated: Oct 01, 2019 11:49 pm
Noke Wangnao poses for a photograph with Senior Citizen Award recipients and officials of the department of Social Welfare, on October 1 in Kohima.

International Day of Older Persons

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Oct. 1 (EMN): Unlike in the past when the elderly or aged parents used to be taken care of, people now keep them in care homes. Young people are now setting aside the wonderful value of taking care of their ageing parents, people attending an International Day of Older Persons programme in Kohima were told.
International Day of Older Persons was observed on October 1in Kohima with a theme that called for ‘age equality.’The event was marked by a sobering reminder that unlike children of the past when it was a tradition to take care of their elderly parents or elderly people in the community, these days there are kept in foster care and homes for the aged.

The advisor for Social Welfare, NokeWangnao, was the guest of honour of the event. He expressed happiness at seeing the elderly in attendance at the programme. In his address, the legislatorurged them to act as advisers to the society and to give the knowledge they have acquired including those of customary laws.

Wangnaospoke about how the old age pension was first introduced in 1991 under the leadership of the late chief minister Vamuzo. The pension scheme aims to give support and security to the aged.

In other matters, the advisor urged the department to address ‘bogus figures’ concerning older citizens.
The president of the Senior Citizens Association Nagaland, retired bureaucrat Khekiye KSema urged the aged to share their experiences.

“We don’t get grey hair in one day,” he said and termed it an indication of rich experience gained.
‘It is a responsibility and a duty of every senior citizen to become a part of active society in a time such as ours today where the political situation or the Indo-Naga issues, the national movements, and various subject matters are so concerning deeply,’Sema said.

Semaspoke also about the necessity of educating the people and giving guidance to ensure that the rights of citizens are not sold off.

Semalamented that advancement and development in the modern world have also brought a situation where young people set asidethe value of taking care of their ageing parents and instead keep them inhomes for the aged. All this is in spite of the parents having made the painstaking effortsof raising their children.

The retired bureaucrat also urged the department of Social Welfare to give more attention to the homes for the aged. They can do so by regularly checking in on the people, and make them feel that they are not neglected and that they are being taken care of, giving them dignity for life. Sema has urged for more advocacy for the elderly and the aged.

A speech was delivered by the director of Social Welfare, TMerangtsungbaAier. He spoke about the journey to ‘age equality’ means to be a senior citizen-friendly environment; citizens are polite and helpful with the senior citizens; health services made easily available; all public and government services are senior citizen friendly and separate queue in facilitating centres.

Aieralso emphasised on infrastructurethat are accessible and convenient for the senior citizens. For instances, there should be railings at vulnerable spots; adequate toilets at shopping and public places; day care centre and short stay homes and recreational parks and spaces for exercise and stretch outs, and facilitating senior citizens with ID cards etc.

The official opined that the 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) recognise that development will be achievable only if it includes people of all age.

“Empowering older persons in all dimensions of development, including promoting their active participation in the social, economic and political lives is one way to ensure their inclusiveness and reduce inequalities,” he said.

The director spoke about the objectives of the 2019 International Day Older Persons, mentioning that it aims to draw attention to the existence of ‘old age inequality.’ This often results from accumulation of disadvantages throughout life, the gathering was told.

Further, the official mentioned that the objective is to explore societal and structural changes in view of life course policies and to reflect on best practice, lessons and progress about the goal to ending inequality and changing negative narratives and stereotypes involving oldage.

The state’sDistinguished Senior Citizens Awards were presented to NiketuIralu (84) for social workand peace advocacy, and development of society;Dr. P Kilemsungla, an educationists and recipient of the Padma Shree in the field of literature and social science, besides being a UPSC and NPSC.

The Kohima district senior citizens awards were given to Seno Vihienuo, aged 82 years, a church worker, housewife and school teacher, and KelhikhrieRupreo, aged 75 years, a retired government primary school teacher.

The IPR also gave details about programmes that were conducted in the districts. The International Day for Older Persons was conducted on October 1 in the council hall of Mon.

The district’s Deputy CommissionerThavaseelan Ksaid that the Day is being observed to make people aware about the issues that concerns with elderly and aged people and their welfare. Besides, the event is to commemorate their contribution to the society, the updates stated.

Thavaseelan emphasized on the need to understand the problems elderly people face, address their needs, and devise plans to solve issues concerning them for benefits in the long run.

The deputy commissioner felicitated elderly people during the occasion, the IPR added.

The department of Social Welfare and a group called the United Tribes of Elderly Leaders Union in Tuensang organized a prayer programme for senior citizens of the district in the CKS hall inTuensang.

The district’s Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Ali Shihab said at the event that senior citizens are a blessing for the community and their prayers are a source of blessings. He said senior citizens are the inspiration, motivation and encouragement for life for one to move forward.

That said, Shihab referred to ‘the sorry state of the medical areas exclusively for senior citizens.’ He expressed hope that the issues would be resolved in time. He encouraged the gathering to take responsibility and to work as goodwill ambassadors for the senior citizens. That way, at least their problems can be heard by the institutions, the IPR stated.

The department also nominated Ramchi Chang, aged 108 years, and Teshae, aged 94 years, as the oldest man and woman, in that order, in the area.

International Day of Older Persons was observed in the district at the women welfare organization’s conference hall in Jalukietown, the IPR stated. The programme was conducted under the aegis of Social Welfare department of Peren, the updates stated.

The additional deputy commissioner of Jalukie, Dr.Tinujongshi Chang spoke on the Day’s theme ‘The journey to age equality.” He told the programme that the Day is celebrated throughout the world with an objective to promoting public awareness to eradicate discrimination and rejection faced by senior citizens in the family and society.

The official urged the younger generation to give special treatment and respect to elders. He requested the Social Welfare department to disseminate information about the schemes and legal provisions that are available for the benefit of senior citizens.

During the event, the district’s seniormost citizens, namely Kiasinlak and Heingauchule, were felicitated during the event. Gifts were given to senior citizens attending the programme in recognition of their contributionto the society.

The Western Sümi Totimi Hoho issued updates to the media on Wednesday informing about a International Day of Older Persons programme they conducted. As part of the event, the organisation people in Sukhato village and Pukhatovillage in Niulandsubdivision of Dimapur, the updates stated.
The organisation issued on Wednesday a press release to the media.

The team held prayer programsat both the places, the organisation stated. They organisation stated to have visited S HotoliZhimomi, Head GaoBurah of Sukhato village, and Toheli N Zhimomi, assistant GaonBurah of Pukhatovillage.

The press release stated: “HotoliZhimomi, wife of late SukhatoZhimomi is a 97 year-old women and the current head GB of Sukhatovillage. Living in a patriarchal society and belonging to a patriarchal tribe she took over the role of head of the village in 1977 after the demise of her husband thus creating a history for Sümi women and remained on the sit till 1985.”

“After a gap of 21 years she once again took over her responsibilities and has been tirelessly working for the village uptill now.”

Likewise, the organisation said Toheli N Zhimomi, wife of late NighotoZhimomi, is 76 year-old who recently took over her husband’s responsibilities as assistant GB on January 11 2019 and holding the responsibility till date, the updates stated.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Oct 01, 2019 11:49:37 pm