Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Changing faces of emerging Kerala

I do not know him. During the Christmas evening, I ventured into the narrow by lanes of kochi city of Kerala to capture the warmth of christmas as christ was born in a manger, not in the five star residential complexes. While capturing the photographs of the street, this man came from somewhere with the request of photographing him and his pet, a stray dog.

He was living that night in his auto risksha. I do not know whether this is is his permanent place to live. In him I could feel loneliness, and the sorrow of loneliness when the rest of the world is celebrating Christmas. He did not have anyone to share the joy of Christmas with, hence he was finding solace in the adopted stray dog of his. If you think that this abandonment is the right of the downtrodden alone, then you are mistaken. During my recent visit to an old age home at Bangalore, I came across a a very wealthy Keralite inmate of that old age home. His wife died. His only son also died in an accident. He tried to live with his daughter for a while, which did not work out well. He is a well dressed , not so old gentleman. Since, living in an old age home is still a taboo in Kerala, he has decided to live in an old age home at Bangalore. When it comes to abandonment and loneliness of old age, we are very democratic in our country. It is alike for the rich and poor. What are the root causes?

Our family planning programmes put an axe to the large, joint family system. Now, having more than two children is an exception. When they grow up, they migrate to other states and countries to fulfil their professional aspirations, because the opportunities Kerala provide are very limited. This make the old generation very vulnerable. Living in a large house all alone is no more advisable due to security reasons. What is the next best solution?. Of course it can be old age homes, barring the social stigma associated with it. This is one of the changing faces of the emerging Kerala, which is often ignored.How is it connected to Kerala2dolist?. Amidst the glitter of tourism and modernization, there is a strata of the society which is suffering and strangled. Let us be grateful to them. Do spend some time with them in the general hospitals, old age homes and orphanages...that by itself is a lot...


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