Is it 'Paradise Lost' for pensioners?

“Iam a Mysorean now living in Bangalore. As I have spent 13 years in Mysore and have roamed all over India and abroad, I found that no place is as beautiful and serene as Mysore. But now I am dead scared as Mysore is rapidly evolving into another metropolitan city with real estate prices shooting up and scenic spots being commercialised,” writes Abhilasha Gupta in a blog.

“I have known people leaving all luxuries of life to live in serene Mysore because of its peaceful environment and now its being disturbed and we are not able to do anything about it,” she expresses her anguish.

This is one among many concerns that are being expressed by denizens about the changes that are taking place in the city.

However, the changes occurring in the city are also having serious repercussions on the senior citizens of the city.

With inflation hitting a high and money ruling the roost, the elders are left to wonder if they should utilise their pensions to buy food or pay up for piling medical bills.

Rapid urbanisation

Speaking to City Herald, sexagenarian Narayan Shetty pointed out that with rapid urbanisation the city has grown leaps and bounds during the past 10-15 years.
“The traffic that we see today is unimaginable,” he adds.

Continuing, he says, “At one time I used to take my scooter and easily go to my office and return without worrying about meeting with an accident; but now I dread going out even in my car.”

The reasons cited were haphazard and reckless driving and lack of parking space - atleast in the central business district.

He said that he chooses more often than not to refrain from visiting the city centre to purchase any of his groceries.

Huge challenge

He mentions that if a person goes to D Devaraja Urs Road, then searching for a parking slot itself is a big challenge.  He complains that majority of the shop owners tend to park their cars during the peak hours denying citizens any space.

He recalls, “Earlier, we used to go to the market to buy all groceries. But now going to the market and returning itself has turned into a huge exercise.”

Another resident of the city for the past 35 years, Raghunandan mentions that somehow, the city didn’t evolve many things for its elders.

No options

There are hardly any options if the elders want to spend time in a meaningful manner, putting their learnings to some use.

And, traffic certainly plays the culprit. However, it is the rudeness with which elders are treated that concerns Raghunandan the most.

He mentions that a people fail to accommodate the senior citizens, either in actions or in spirit.  Venting his ire on the youngsters, he said that even though many a times they’ll be seeing that an old person is walking towards them, they fail to even budge a bit. Instead, they try to barge their way through, he bemoans.

Discount needed

Elder Citizen’s Council Honorary Secretary K S Krishnamurthy mentioned that for majority of the elders the rising costs were due to hospital bills.

With routine medical check-ups becoming essential, he wanted the hospitals - both private and government - to provide atleast minimum discounts to senior citizens.
He mentioned that most people preferred private hospitals, but there was a need to provide a decent discount to the elders.

While, Mysore slowly inching towards becoming a metropolitan city, the question of whether it can retain its tag of being the “Pensioner’s paradise” remains to be seen.

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