Elderly in Kashmir face stress, anxiety as children settle in foreign countries

By: Afaq Bhat

Srinagar: Elderly people, who in many cases, have to stay alone in Kashmir do face anxiety and stress as their children are settled in foreign countries.

“My two sons are settled in foreign countries and one daughter is married. Me and my wife stay alone,” Ali Mohammad, a retired government employee of Baghat Barzulla, told Precious Kashmir.

Like Ali Mohammad there are many elderly couples who are staying alone in posh areas of Srinagar city. “All our lives we earned for our children and provided them with whatever we had, but due to one or other reason they had to leave as they had to build their lives,” said Mohammad Abdullah Dar, who stays with his wife alone in the Rambagh area.

It’s in place to mention here that during the past few years many young people have moved out of Kashmir in search of jobs and other avenues. Also the concept of nuclear families in Kashmir has left many old people alone.

“Earlier, people in Kashmir used to live in joint families and if the youngsters used to go out there used to be someone or another to take care of the elderly in a home, but now that culture has changed. Joint family culture in Kashmir has ended and it’s all about living separately,” said another retired government employee, Altaf Khan.

He said that pensioners like him struggle for everything. “Many people like me have to take care of their daily and medical needs without any help from anywhere. In many cases where parents get the pension they don’t even ask for money from their children as they want them to spend it on their families,” Khan added.

He said, “We can’t blame anyone for our miseries as sending children to foreign countries has become a status symbol in Kashmir. When a person is young, he doesn’t realize the importance of support, it’s only in old age one comes to know how important it’s to have children around.”

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