This is not the first time, and probably not the last time I will be seeing this man sitting at that same spot on Majeedhee Magu, hoping for someone to lend him a coin or two for a cup of tea and maybe one or two short eats from a nearby sai-hotta.
When the government started to give 2000 Rufiya to all those above 65 years of age, it was perhaps a sign of realization of the government responsibility over its senior citizenry. But with ever emerging high inflation and fluctuating economy, is this a solution? On top of this, there are cases where money sent is not properly delivered to the person its intended to. This is sometimes due to family intervention over the money or because someone at the end of that transaction spends that 2000 Ruffiya on something else.
We are at this stage where we need to build old-age shelters and senior citizen retirement homes for the homeless and unattended. With shattered family morals, and tainted societal values, we are at this junction where everyone has a hectic lifestyle and has not much time to spare for the parents who raised them, spending all their lives and effort to make 'people' out of their children.
Modern lifestyle and way of living contradicts the conservative culture of the older generation, which makes living with grandparents, and sometimes mothers and fathers difficult to the modern Maldivian family today.
At one stage we agree that we have issues and problems concerning treatment of the older generation and when governments do not spend much on welfare of the Senior Citizenry its becomes a debate of politics, but how many of us are willing to accept and realise our role and individual responsibility in ensuring the well being and welfare of our own parents?
These are important things we need to talk about and its imperative that we find solutions to these issues. Me, I don't want to be that old man sitting on Majeedhee Magu, say in the next 40-50 years ...