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Old mothers are generally left at the mercy of her offsprings and their families.
Many of the old widow mothers are thrown in old age homes to count their time, all alone.
Few of them even end up begging on the streets.
Let’s dive into the topic, without wasting any more time.
On 21 April 2017, Geeta Kapoor (58) didn’t find anything amiss when her choreographer son called for an ambulance and rushed her to a private hospital for treatment falling blood pressure.
But more than a month later, as the hospital failed to contact her son to take his mother home, after clearance of pending payment of Rs. 1.5 Lakhs, her darkest fear had come true that her son had abandoned her.
SRV Hospital in Goregaon was in a total chaotic state when Mrs. Kapoor was fit for discharge, but had no one for payment and sign the discharge papers.
The hospital sought help from the police to trace her son and cough out pending payment of Rs. 1.5 Lakhs or find an alternative for her, which could be sending her to Old Age Home.
The doctor informed that after the old lady was brought in an unconscious condition. “After admission formalities got over the son enquired if the deposit has to be paid.
He left the hospital on the pretext of looking for an ATM and never returned. Since that day, no one from the family has asked for her.” said the doctor in charge of the ward.
While such incidents are normal in Government or Public hospitals, but very rare in private hospitals.
The doctor further confirmed that the lady was in bad condition at the time of admission, as she was clearly undernourished. Her BP was low and she was surely not well fed.
More surprises were restored for the hospital when they visited the hospital to look for the son.
The neighbours confirmed that they had rented that apartment three months back and had vacated within hours of sending the mother to the hospital.
The hospital even tried to contact her daughter, allegedly an air hostess and her daughter-in-law, but no response.
Police confirmed that they cannot shift the lady to an old age home or a public hospital if her biological relatives are alive.
No one wanted to take the risk for taking such action, with a fear of some untoward incident happening to her and they made directly responsible for the consequences. So, the police decided to restrict their role in assisting the hospital.
Sources confirmed that the son was communicating through text messages and assured the hospital that he will pay up the pending bills and take her mother, “Whenever he has time to spare!” Uncomfortable Questions
2. Who is at fault? The parents for incorrect parenting? Or the society for isolating itself from such a universal issue? or the son, who sucked all resources and energy from his mother, but when it’s his turn for payback, he just vanished?
3. Is the father not at fault, who didn’t bother for his wife, after he is dead? No-one stopped him from drafting a “Will” transferring all property and finances to his wife after he dies!
Finance Division. In Indian households, the family properties and finances are taken over by the son or divided among sons, with an assumption that sister will get everything from her husband and in-laws.
Although, Indian Law very clearly defines that both sons and daughters are equal shareholders of the family property and finances, post-death of their parents.
But, in most of the Indian families, its an unwritten rule that daughters will get everything from her husband and everything will be either taken over by son or divided among sons.
Son is King. Therefore, it becomes compulsory for the son and his wife to take care of their parents in old age.
Daughters are never expected to look after them and at the same time, daughters are also not interested to look after them.
Also, this is one of the main reasons, why sons are more sought after than daughters. We have witnessed many families where the couple kept on producing daughters (in one case 7 daughters! but no son), for the sake of having a son “Next Time”!
Missing Link. We have discussed husband (father), son (his family), and daughter (her family).
But we have nowhere discussed regarding the poor widowed mother, who was kicked to old age home, where she will count her last days!
We were shocked that a woman who spent her life caring for her son could be treated in this cavalier manner.
Moral of the Story. It was convenient to put aside the woman who nurtured the helpless children all her life as she had outlived her importance in their lives.
You have been a housewife all your life and have given your precious youth to nurturing your household.
You raise a happy family and successful children.
You support your husband through the years and helped him build a life that is rewarding.
You help your husband to save money for old age, which was used to buy properties or invest it with various avenues. To save that money, you make lots and lots of sacrifices and keep your own dreams aside for the growth of the family.
But, in today’s materialistic world, like happiness, the memory of the young generation is also short-lived too.
What if the provisions made towards your lifestyle are not enough?
What if you find yourself alone in your old age?
There is much insecurity that surrounds the lives of housewives who pump in all their energies in building, what they think is their kingdom, but sadly that too disintegrates when the king is gone!
Ignorant Life. Indian society is very patriarchal and most wives are not expected to know the financial provisions and status of their husbands.
The females are brought up from childhood with a mind-frame that after marriage, they will have to live inside the boundary walls of the house and spend most of their time looking after the requirements of their husband and kids.
In many families, the girls are told to keep their dreams on hold and materialize them only after marriage (if at all their husbands or in-laws support them!)
It is drilled into their minds that Mathematics and Finances are Men’s Domain and females are doomed for these fields. The parents rarely spend their time teaching finances and its importance to girls.
Many a time, we take life for granted and assume that it will go on forever. But the truth of life is that one day we all have to die, leaving our wives all alone, to manage life till last breath.
But, if we observe the trend, then we will realize that by virtue of husbands being the earning member of the family and prevailing cut-throat competition, their health deteriorates more than their respective housewives.
The men work all their lives, but even in this modern age and day, they neglect to tell their life partners about their financial status.
They prefer to maintain confidential notes in some diary or mobile notes, which remains with them only.
With a sedentary lifestyle, cutthroat professional competition, unhealthy food, over-dependence on mobile, slowly the shelf life of the males is shifting to the younger deadline.
The lives of the men are stressful and many times there is an unfortunate incident when the tensions that the man goes through lead to an untimely death due to a fatal heart attack or stroke or any other health unknown issues.
Dead Husband’s Wealth. We know of an old woman whose husband was a marine engineer, who used to work onboard merchant ships.
He traveled the world, made huge amounts of money, and gave his family a very comfortable life.
As a loving gesture, he even gifted his house to his son.
This he believed saved the hassle of legalities after his death. He even named his son the nominee on his insurance policies.
Unfortunately, the gentleman expired on board ship, on one of his cruises.
Ambitious Son. The son had access to all the finances and the widow was not even aware of what was invested and where.
Very soon the son and daughter-in-law found that keeping the old lady with them cumbersome as she had arthritis and needed help to get along.
A few months later she was left at an old age home run by the charity.
The son paid 15000/-per month to the authorities for her care and now visits her only once a year as that is mandatory.
Unbothered Daughter. Her daughter too did not bother to offer to keep the mother who cared for her for so many years, helped her bring up her own children.
In fact, she also visited the bare minimum times she could. It was a situation that is repeated many times in today’s fast-paced and materialistic world. Why?
Dead Husband and Subsequent Power Tussle. As soon as father dies, in case of an only son (or one son and one daughter), the swift transfer of property takes place from dead father to son.
But, in the case of more than one son, the power tussle starts between them.
After Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani died, his sons Mr. Mukesh and Anil Ambani started a stiff court war, inspite of the fact their mother is still alive.
The whole country witnessed that battle with fingers crossed, as the stock market was assumed to stumble to its lowest level.
Every son wants to have almost full moon out of the paternal finances.
But everyone, including widowed mother, forgets that there is one more alive person, who needs to survive the remaining part of her life all alone, i.e old widowed mother.
Prevalent Logic. Most of the time inherited property is divided amongst the children with the hope that the children will look after the mother. This preconceived notion is very wrong many a time.
Today, the children we raise, are more selfish and self-centered than earlier times.
This generation is the one that sucks resources from their parents and once they attain financial independence, they just forget their sacrifices. In short, they follow the policy of “use and throw”.
Once the child has become self-sufficient the mother becomes redundant in their lives.
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