Vijay Bhatt

I know ... I know ... I am not alone who felt like writing today. There are thousands of you who are writing, or want to write. We all run out of words when we hear that an eighty years old professor with national repute depressed, and helpless due to his illness. Also, he wrote that he feels he is a burden to the society; he finished his role, and has no meaningful reason to stay alive....! How come no one close to him noticed this coming? A professor, a scholar, who has taught, analyzed, and studied poetry of all the nine human emotions himself, became a victim of one! How come he lost the battle he taught others to win? 

I highly recommend Atul Gawande's book 'Being Mortal' in this context. It very well discussed the end-of-life care challenges. 

The biggest issue is the neglect of mental health of the aging population, especially those who suffer from terminal illness.

In the USA the system of hospice has partial success. It is about time India should adopt formal hospice treatment. 

As India is progressing and adopting western lifestyle, it is losing the older traditions of respecting and taking care of the aging loved ones.

It is not a fault of the younger generation. It is nobody's fault. Twenty first century's challenges, attractions, opportunities, greed, ambitions, and rat-race for success have misaligned personal priorities. The society which brags about its culture and traditions is failing at its core pride. The pride of family values!

USA Today magazine reported earlier this year that the number of married or unmarried adults living physically closer to their parents have increased in the last several years. One reason is that they realize the family support system is precious while raising small children or taking care of the disable and old parents.

India had such a support system which is gradually disappearing. Indian youth, it is not too late to wake up! Let us take care of your immediate family members' mental health and physical well being.

Career, money, and success are all transient. Friends and family with unconditional love are eternal! It takes a village!

Before it's too late let us be proactive, watchful, and identify mental health problems and Reach out!

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Category :- English Bazaar Patrika / Features