- A ‘match-making event’ for the elderly was organised in Bengaluru
- Human rights activist Uday Kumar highlighted how the elderly parents were being isolated by their children
- The Foundation aims to provide a platform for the elder citizens to choose their partner and be able to live together
BENGALURU: Staying young at heart might seem difficult in practice but huge groups of senior citizens in Bengaluru have defied the practicality of the saying by attending an elderly matrimonial meet on Sunday, June 20.
The event, organised by Anubhandana Foundation of Ahmedabad, might be a first of its kind but it has surely received a great response in the city.
“About 250 senior citizens above 50-60 years, including 150 men and 100 women came to the match-making event here. We are moved by the response, as senior citizens, including single, widowed or divorced came in search of a companion,” said Bharatbhai Patel, Anubhandana Foundation member.
The event saw senior citizens stressing the importance of having company in old age and how it is seen as a taboo in the present-day context. Human rights activist Uday Kumar highlighted how “more and more elderly people were being left to fend for themselves or neglected by their kin” and that, irrespective of the status of their ageing parents, the children are often reluctant of taking care of them in old age.
“Nuclear families, career pursuits and changing lifestyle have been disrupting the life of senior citizens as their sons and daughters leave them behind after education on getting jobs or on getting married and then they live separately in the same city or other cities in India or abroad,” said Patel.
Majority of those who attended the event have been found to be in a financially decent position, belonging to middle class and upper middle class families but the lack of family time and loneliness has forced them to rethink of marriage. For most of the attendees, it is the need of companionship and someone to have around that has made them defy social and caste barriers to marry at this age.
Although the venue was Bengaluru, participants from other areas of Karnataka had made it to the list. In comparison to a 300 when it was last held in January 2014, the response this time was overwhelming with people from Hubbali, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Raichur attending it. The oldest man to attend is aged 78 years and the oldest woman is 55 years of age.
“We are doing our best to ensure single citizens get a compatible person to live with them in the evening of their life and help each other in old age. More than money, its’ care and love that matters the most in old age for such citizens, who live on their own or away from their kin,” said Patel.
About 10 out of all the attendees got engaged at the event while a dozen agreed on meeting again to discuss dates of the wedding. Many others got their details registered to find their suitable partners in various other cities.
The Foundation is known for organising ‘match-making events’ for the elderly in many cities across the country so that the older generation isn’t deprived of company in their last stage of life.
Foundation secretary Gouri Shankar said the not-for-profit organisation aims “to provide a platform for senior citizens to meet, interact and decide whom to choose as a partner and how soon they would like to live together.”
-By Maariyah Siddique, intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid