Shocking Stats: Time to Break Saas-Bahu Circle of Hate
- JWB Post
- April 14, 2015
It sounds shocking!
Elderly women are treated as ‘second-class family members’ in majority of the households in Rajasthan. A report on gender discrimination of elderly women says that they are highly prone to abuse, harassment and their role is limited to housekeeping within the four walls.
Radha Kataria (71), a resident of Civil Lines, has been quoted as saying in the survey report: “My life has become a hell due to my daughters-inlaws’ harsh behaviour. After my husband’s death, they treat me like a housemaid. I have no choice but to suffer.“
The urbanization is taking a toll on the family relationships as 31% of elderly women have been found to be living alone with their husband only .
15% of them are living as widows. Majority of the women are dependent on others. According to the survey report, 90% of the women are financially unstable. They don’t have access to the financial resources and are totally dependent on the family members.
Another shocking fact is that 93% women who once owned land or property confessed that they had transferred it to the men. The report further says that 77.36% women don’t have any social life or are forced to stay indoors. They have no say in the financial matters of the family as they are usually illiterate or have no knowledge of matters related to finance, banks, government schemes etc.
Rajasthan is among the few states in the country which have enacted a law Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007. But still, the situation has not changed much.
JWB Take: We all need to remember that life is a kind of cafe with the name ‘Karma’ that serves what you deserve. It can appear true that some of those unfortunate mothers-in-law used to harass their bahus when being in power. However, your revenge in present is the treatment you will receive in future. There is always a two-way traffic.
To conclude, we want to emphasize: once you get older, it is important to stay up-to-date and relevant to modern times, to be open-minded and willing to learn the new, and to preserve understanding and love – all this can make you save great time for old days. Only then grandchildren will be listening to you with open mouth. Hence, you deserve love but not feeling of pity. Hence, you deserve care, not burden of the duty. And yes, humanity is something that makes us responsible and human-like.