Archive for the ‘Family’ Category
I saw a Show on STAR Vijay TV Today which left me deeply disturbed.
This programme is telecast on Sundays at 10 am where Social Issues are brought into focus.
Some of the earlier issues related to Husnband Wife Relationship, Medical Costs.
The present issue is the The Problems of the Elderly and The Aged.
There were three distinct Groups in this issue.
1.Those who were sent to Old Age Homes by the Wealthy sons and Daughters.
2.Those who had no body to turn to but economically independent.
3.Those who were economically downtrodden.
In the first category thee were two sub groups, one where the children were abroad and had no intention of returning to India and another where the children are in India and in some cases in the same city where the Elderly have been sent to.
I will be covering the issue in a couple of posts with Statistics.
What struck me first are the Statistics
.* Statistics in this Post are from HelpAge India.
I am also posting Statistics from Other sources.
Contrary to popular perception, the sons were the main cause for dumping( I deliberately use the Term) and the verbal abuse of parents, and not the Daughter’s in Law!
56 % of the parents were sent to Old Age Homes because os f sons and 23 % because of Daughters’ in Law.
- India has the second largest aged population the world.
- Currently there are an estimated 100 million elderly in India by 2050 it is said to reach 326 million (projections made by UN in their 1996 revision).
- 55 million elderly sleep on an empty stomach every night.
- 75% of persons of age 60 and above reside in rural areas.
- 1 out 8 elderly feel no one cares they exist.
- 12 million people in India are blind 70 – 80% of these are elderly. 62.6 % are blind due to cataract.
- 30 million are lonely
- 33 % are below the poverty line and majority of them are illiterate.
- 90 % have to continue to work if they have to survive.
- 6.5 million feel no one even knows they exist.
- Only about 11% of India’s workforce participates in any sort of guaranteed retirement income.
- Within the next five years, the number of adults aged 65 & over will outnumber children under the age of 5.
- India is said to be the World Capital for heart diseases.
- It is estimated that by year 2015, nearly 7 lakh elderly in India within the age bracket of 60 – 69 will die of coronary Heart Diseases.
- More than two third of the Oldest Old (80+) are financially dependent on others.
- Elder Abuse Statistics Elder Abuse
Two out of every three children in India are physically abused, according to a landmark government study.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the study says 53% of the surveyed children reported one or more forms of sexual abuse.
This is the first time the government has done such an exhaustive survey on the controversial issue of child abuse.
Abuse of children, particularly sexual abuse, is rarely admitted in India and activists have welcomed the study.(BBC 9 April 2007)
Now Human Rights Watch on this issue.
Child sexual abuse is disturbingly common in homes, schools, and residential care facilities inIndia. A government-appointed committee set up after the New Delhi attack to recommend legal and policy reform has found that child protection schemes “have clearly failed to achieve their avowed objective.”
The 82-page report, “Breaking the Silence: Child Sexual Abuse in India,” examines how current government responses are falling short, both in protecting children from sexual abuse and treating victims. Many children are effectively mistreated a second time by traumatic medical examinations and by police and other authorities who do not want to hear or believe their accounts. Government efforts to tackle the problem, including new legislation to protect children from sexual abuse, will also fail unless protection mechanisms are properly implemented and the justice system reformed to ensure that abuse is reported and fully prosecuted, Human Rights Watch said..
You can access and download the Report at
found a reasonable good one which analyses the issue of rape.
That is from The Washington Post.
Following are the reasons cited.
Fewer Female Police Personnel.
Even the quality of women Police available is disheartening.
I have found the women Police to be more heartless than a Policeman in terms of character and humane approach to family issues brought into Police Stations.
These women Police ensure that they get a good bribe to settle the issue even if what is agreed upon is totally unjustifiable.
Lockup rapes are most common.
I received a Forward.
I am porting some thing which has no relevance, yet relevant to the story here.
Go through the Story.
There is a bland statement to the effect that the husband died and only narration dealing with monetary affairs.
As if a thought had struck that it might not look nice if nothing is spoken about the deceased husband a reference is made to the effect that there is no time for grieving.
I am yet to know that you need a separate time allocated and available for grieving.
Me. I lost my wife and Me 38 years ago and I have not slept normally at all for all these years , not withstanding that I have grand children.
I do not remember my wife for what she had done for me or what she would be doing for me if were alive to-day, but the pain of having been separated…well… one has to feel it to understand it.
I am called most unemotional by my children and one with a cold heart.
Be it as may,
I know there are issues to be tackled, especially economic.
And Life Goes On.
Yet to focus only on the economic aspects to the exclusion of the pangs of separation?
I do not know.
May I am a fool.
People who are dead and gone will not return.
But this attitude?
Is this all Marriage and bonding all about and is this about Valentine’s’ day?
May be this is practical way of Living?!
What I do know is that even animals forsake their food,especially Monkeys and Elephants , in some cases,die,if they lose their mate.
Are we so advanced not to react humanely?
Have become so obsessed with money to be sanitized from normal human emotions?
Is this Life?
Again I do not know.
I am old-fashioned.
I do not know how to say ‘I Love You’
Nor can I bring myself to say ‘I can not Live with out you’
That’s all I can Say on this story.
For those who know Tamil.
வீடு வரை உறவு வீதி வரை மனைவி …
‘ ”கொண்டு வந்தால் தந்தை; கொண்டு வந்தாலும் வராவிட்டாலும் தாய், சீர் கொண்டு வந்தால் சகோதரி, கொலையும் செய்வாள் பத்தினி, உயிர் காப்பான் தோழன்” -தூக்கு தூக்கி ‘
பணத்தின் மீதுதான் பக்தி என்றபின் பந்த பாசமே ஏனடா -கண்ணதாசன் - பழனி
“Few things I learnt after my husband’s death:-
We always believe we will live forever. Bad things always happen to others.
Only when things hit us bang on your head you realise… Life is so unpredictable….
My husband was an IT guy.All Technical. And I am a chartered accountant.
Awesome combination you may think.
Techie guy so everything is on his laptop.His to do list.
His e-bill and his bank statements in his email. He even maintained a folder which said IMPWDS wherein he stored all log in id and passwords for all his online accounts.
And even his laptop had a password.
Techie guy so all the passwords were alpha-numeric with a special character not an easy one to crack.
Office policy said passwords needed to be changed every 30 days.
So every time I accessed his laptop I would realize it’s a new password again.
I would simply opt for asking him ‘What’s the latest password’ instead of taking the strain to memorize it.
You may think me being a Chartered Accountant would means everything is documented and filed properly.
Alas! many of my chartered accountant friends would agree that the precision we follow with our office documents and papers do not flow in to day to-day home life. At office you have been the epitome of Reliability / Competent / Diligent etc but.
At home front there is always a tomorrow.
One fine morning my hubby expired in a bike accident on his way home from office.
He was just 33.
His laptop with all his data crashed.everything on his hard disk wiped off.No folder of IMPWDS to refer back to
.His mobile with all the numbers on it was smashed.But that was just the beginning.
I realised I had a lot to learn.
9 years married to one of the best human beings.with no kids.just the two of us to fall back on.but now I stood all alone and lost.
Being chartered accountant helped in more ways than one but it was not enough.
I needed help.His saving bank accounts, his salary bank accounts had no nominee
.On his insurance his mom was the nominee and it was almost 2 years back she had expired. But this was just a start.
I didn’t know the password to his email account where all his e-bill came.
I didn’t know which expenses he paid by standing instructions.
His office front too was not easy. His department had changed recently.I didn’t know his reporting boss name to start with.when had he last claimed his shift allowance, his mobile reimbursement.
The house we bought with all the excitement on a loan thought with our joint salary we could afford the EMI.
When the home loans guys suggested insurance on the loan.we decided the instead of paying the premium the difference in the EMI on account of the insurance could be used pay towards prepayment of the loan and get the tenure down.
We never thought what we would do if we have to live on a single salary.So now there was huge EMI to look into .
I realised I was in for a long haul.
Road accident case.
So everywhere I needed a Death certificate, FIR report, Post Mortem report.
For everything there were forms running into pages.indemnity bonds.notary.surety to stand up for you.
No objections certificates from your co-heirs.
I learnt other than your house, your land,
Your car, your bike are also your property.
So what if you are the joint owner of the flat.you don’t become the owner just because your hubby is no more.
So what if your hubby expired in the bike accident and you are the nominee but if the bike is in a repairable condition .you have to get the bike transferred in your name to claim the insurance.
And that was again not easy.
The bike or car cannot be transferred in your name without going through a set of legal documents.
Getting a Succession Certificate is another battle all together.
Then came the time you realise now you have to start changing all the bills, assets in your name.
Your gas connection, electricity meter, your own house, your car, your investments and all sundries.
And then change all the nominations where your own investments are concerned.
And again a start of a new set of paperwork.
To say I was shaken.my whole life had just turned upside down was an understatement.
You realise you don’t have time to mourn and grieve for the person with whom you spend the best years of your life
. Because you are busy sorting all the paper work.
I realised then how much I took life for granted
.I thought being a chartered accountant I am undergoing so many difficulties.what would have happened to someone who was house maker who wouldn’t understand this legal hotchpotch.
A sweet friend then told me dear this was not an end.you have no kids.your assets will be for all who stand to claim.after my hubby’s sudden death.I realised it was time I took life more seriously.
I now needed to make a Will.
I would have laughed if a few months back if he had asked me to make one
.But now life had taken a twist.
Lessons learnt this hard way were meant to be shared.
After all why should the people whom we love the most suffer after we are no more.
Sorting some paperwork before we go will at least ease some of their grief.
1. Check all your nominations…
It’s a usual practice to put a name (i.e in the first place if you have mentioned it) and royally forget about it. Most of us have named our parent as a nominee for investments, bank accounts opened before marriage. We have not changed the same even years after they are no longer there with us. Even your salary account usually has no nomination.. Kindly check all your Nominations.
- Bank Accounts
- Fixed Deposits, NSC
- Bank Lockers
- Demat Accounts
- Insurance (Life, Bike or Car or Property)
- PF Pension Forms
We have passwords for practically everything. Email accounts, Bank accounts, even for the laptop you use. What happens when your next in kin cannot access any of these simply because they do not know your password… Put it down on a paper.
Every year for tax purpose we do investments. Do we maintain an excel sheet about it. If so is it on the same laptop of which the password you had not shared. Where are those physical investments hard copy.
Make a Will. I know you will smile even I would.had I not gone through all what I did.It would have made my life lot easier.a lot less paperwork.I wouldn’t had to provide an indemnity bond, get it notarised, ask surety to stand up, no objections certificates from others…
When you take a loan say for your house or car.Check out on all the what ifs.what if I am not there tomorrow.what if I lose my job.Will the EMI still be within my range.If not get an insurance on the loan.The people left will not have to worry on something as basic as their own house.
My battles have just begun…But let us at least try to make few changes so that our loved ones would not suffer after we go.We do not know what will happen in the future.
But as the Scout motto goes: “Be prepared “
The influence of the Western Food on South India is not noticed by many of us, as we are not conscious of proselytism.
We are being changed without being aware of it.
First, the eating Habits.
Normally South India takes meals in the morning,refreshments in the afternoon and meals at night.
This consisted of a healthy, yet not taxing to the stomach.
Then came the habit of the British Culture.
Breakfast-Are we breaking a fast from 10 pm the last night?
Evening Tea(?) substituted by us with refreshments.
Then Dinner or Supper.
I am not sure how many know the difference between Supper and Dinner!
Timings: Around 8.30 am,1 pm,4, 7 pm and 10 pm.
Compare this with South Indian Timings ; 10 am,4 pm,7 to 8 pm.
Jainism and Hinduism lay stress on Food and Timings for better physical, mental and Spiritual health.
Jainism is more particular in that it proscribes partaking of Food after Sun down.
It is proved scientifically that food taken after Sunset helps unhealthy Bacteria grow in the digestive system
My post is not about yearning for what has gone before and that The West has ruined way of Life.
It is a conscious evaluation of what is good for our health in our climate.
I am yet to find which of the foods that we have imported or Food habits we have learnt from the West are useful.
Timings are not good for Health.
Pizza, many may disagree is the preparation by allowing Yeast to grow.
This is not good.
Doughnuts , we have our own,Dosa, Adai, Pesarattu,
Salads, we have Pachadis and Kosumalli.- Of innumerable combinations
Soups, we have Rasam. of how many hues?
Gravy ,we have Sambar.
That too how many varieties!
Regular Sambar, Coconut paste added Sambar:Spices ground and added afresh Sambar; Buttermilk Sambar Pitlai.
For additional requirement of Vitamin C;apart from Lemon Rasam , we have Vatral Kuzhambu which uses more Tamarind.
Pappad prepared at Home contains protein : papad has to be roasted directly in the fire,Barbecue?
Would we pause before aping the West before we embrace their Food habits which suit only their Climate?
Remember a Recipe is not born overnight,it takes years of testing,refinement and practice to suit our climate and body.
I could feel I remained undisturbed and was in fact was watching things happening around me,even if it involved me, as though I was a spectator.
There was no hurry in doing things, no anxiety.
There was no heaviness while waking up in the morning.
This I could attribute only to the Diet, for there was no significant change in my Lifestyle other than this.
Why don’t you try”
- All Root vegetables, like Potatoes.
- Vegetables like Carrot,Beans,Drumstick,Tomatoes,Cabbage,Brinjal,beetroot,Radish.
- Raw Plantains,
- Lady’s Finger,
- Poosanikkai/Bootha kumablakkai
- Indian Beans(kothavarankai)
- Bitter Guords,
- Snake Gourds.
- Freshly cooked Rice.
Take food once in the afternoon around 1 pm.
- Kadamba Sambar (subbuskitchen.com)
But on a Global scale India ranks at the lowest in The Wold.
Statistics shows that only 1 out of 100 Indian marriages end up to a divorce which is quite low in comparison to America’s 50% of marriages turning into breakups.
The divorce rate in Indian villages is even lower in comparison to urban India.
The following figures will help you to get an idea about the divorce rate in India with respect to global divorce rate.
- Sweden – 54.9%
- United States – 54.8%
- Russia – 43.3%
- United Kingdom – 42.6
- Germany – 39.4%
- Israel – 14.8%
- Singapore – 17.2%
- Japan – 1.9%
- Srilanka – 1.5%
- India – 1.1%
The rate of divorce in India was even low in the previous decade, where only 7.40 marriages out of 1,000 marriages were annulled.
However,Divorce rates in India are increasing.
“The past one year has witnessed 43,000 divorces across the country. However, owing to the awareness relating to men’s rights nationwide, the number of divorce by mutual consent has also gone up. Today, statistics shows 60 per cent of the divorces is by mutual consent.
Among states with the highest number of divorces, Maharashtra topped the list in the past year, accounting for nearly 20,000 cases, with Mumbai and Pune alone accounting for 15,000 of them, while the remaining were reported from Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur
Divorce rates in The IT sector are higher as compared to other sectors.
Lawyers say that lifestyle change is one of the primary reasons for marriages ending in divorce.
Around five years ago, the ratio was one divorce per 1,000 marriages in India , and today statistics indicate that there are 13 divorces for every 1,000 marriage.
The main reasons attributed to the break-up of marriages in India today are related to equal income between sexes and the high stress levels.
The maximum number of divorces is among call centre employees, medical professionals and those in the technology sector.
I had already discussed the work pressure/Culture in The IT industry contributing to Stress, strained relationships and Divorce
Links provided at the end of the post.
Work and Behavioral Change in IT Industry.
In India there has been a Joint Family system till recently.
It started breaking up about a decade back.
Now the process has been hastened by the introduction of IT.
Till the advent of IT, though the joint Family system was breaking up, the custom of the sons staying with his parents was continued.
But after both the husband and wife have started earning from IT and Call Centers this practice changed.
Now the habit of the wife’s parents staying in the daughter’s Home is increasing while the parents of the Boy live separately
A case in which a Husband murdered his wife for constantly harassing him to live separately, in Bangalore last year!
Though the Husbands declare they are ‘fast’ in Lifestyle, they are unable to come to terms with their spouses mixing freely with the other Sex in their Profession, though they may deny it.
I have cases reported to me by the Husbands themselves!
The value changes are difficult to adjust and it takes time.
This is a high pressure point.
Recognition and promotions in the IT Industry is related to performance(It is more pronounced in the IT sector).
The Indian Male Psyche is not ready to absorb or adjust with it.
In fact this is a global phenomenon, though it is illogical.
Another issue is balancing Home and Work, especially for women.
The issue becomes complex with the arrival of a Baby.
How does one handle these issues?
“The pressures of the modern workplace has made a bigger difference in the lifestyle of techies.
India still has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world, with about one in 1,000 marriages collapsing, according to recent studies.
But the courts are now seeing so many new cases that the government has proposed making divorce easier and faster, in line with other countries.
“There has been a huge change, a drastic change and divorce rates are increasing,” Dr Geetanjali Sharma, a marriage counsellor working in Gurgaon, a wealthy Delhi satellite city, told the BBC.
“There’s been a 100 percent increase in divorce rates in the past five years alone.They don’t want to put more efforts into a relationship to fix the issues.”
Most of those splitting up are members of India’s thriving, urban middle class whose lives have been transformed by India’s boom, and whose aspirations are radically different to those of their parents and grandparents….
The pressures of the modern workplace make a bigger difference, she thinks, than whether it was a traditional arranged marriage, or a so-called “love marriage”.
The divorce rates in Kerala are going up. In 2009-10, the number of divorce cases numbered 11,600, with the majority being from the IT industry.
“The situation is disturbing,” says Rajiv Menon (name changed), a senior legal practitioner, who works at the Family Court, Kochi. “Most couples who work in the IT industry break up within two to three years of marriage.” Rajiv puts it down to the odd working hours, usually at night, the high stress of the job, and an egoistic attitude.
“The spouses adopt an attitude of superiority to each other,” he says. “There is also a lack of communication which causes many misunderstandings.”
Meanwhile, Antony gives other reasons.
“When they first join the industry, youngsters get swayed by the high incomes,” says Antony. “Many of them take to drinks, drugs, late night parties and watching porn on the internet.” Inevitably, the youngsters lose their equilibrium. “There is a widespread prevalence of pre-marital sex,” says Antony. “They have been influenced by the serials on TV which glorify pre- and extra-marital sex in order to garner good ratings.”
IT professionals in troubled marriages are hacking into their spouse’s email account for proof of extramarital affair or salary, say lawyers and cyber experts.
Cyber experts say a growing number of cases have come to light where couples are hacking into each other’s email accounts to collect evidence for divorce. And some are going a step further by fabricating electronic evidence for early separation reports NDTV
Lawyers also claim that couples on the verge of separation are increasingly resorting to hacking techniques to score on each other.
“No good lawyer would advise the litigants to hack into each other’s accounts, but we are coming across many litigants who come to us already in possession of sheets of conversation wherein it becomes clear that the other person is having a relationship outside of marriage that goes beyond mere friendship,” said Advocate Ajit Kulkarni.
According to lawyers in the city, 30 percent of all divorces that happen in the city every year are among couples working in the IT sector, and 50 percent of them use hacking techniques to collect electronic evidence against each other.”