A tough ride for the elderly

Inconsiderate Behaviour

A tough ride for the elderly

Finding a seat on a crowded bus during peak travelling hours is difficult at the best of times, with passengers struggling to get room to sit. In such scenarios, the ones who are forced to bear the brunt of the inconvenience are senior citizens.

With only four seats reserved for the elderly, travelling by bus can be a difficult experience for many of them.
Metrolife speaks to some of the senior citizens, who face this problem every time they board a bus.

Deekaram, a retired government employee, describes his plight whenever he has to stand in a crowded bus.

He says, “I feel exhausted, my legs start to pain and I don’t get a seat. When the crowd is too much — which is often the case in buses — I find it difficult to even breathe. The four seats allotted to elderly citizens are not enough. There should be more.”

Given that even youngsters have a tough time on buses, it’s sad that senior citizens — who often lack physical strength — are subjected to the same treatment. Mathuly, a 62-year-old resident of Ulsoor, says, “I don’t have much strength. And given this condition, it is difficult to travel by bus. I have to acknowledge that some girls do give up seat to me on their own.

But most of the time, senior citizens like me don’t get place to sit — even if we ask someone to give us their seat. When we are well, it is difficult but manageable. On the days we are unwell, though, we wonder why we are even alive! Increasing the number of reserved seats to eight will help us.”
The truth is that often, even the four seats that are reserved for senior citizens are occupied by others.

M Pullaswamy, a senior citizen and tennis coach, says, “Forget about increasing the seats reserved for us — we don’t even get those four reserved seats. Many youngsters sit on them and when we insist that they get up, they turn a deaf ear. Conductors should be more vigilant about such sensitive issues. They should ask the youngsters to get up on behalf of us.” He adds that reserving an additional six seats would be a blessing for senior citizens as well.

Sujatha, another senior citizen, feels that the public should be sensitive enough to give senior citizens the seats they are entitled to. She says, “I never ask for a seat, because my experiences with youngsters on buses have been really bad. Despite requesting, they do not offer me their seat. Sometimes, men sit on seats reserved for senior women. This practice should be stopped,” she sums up.

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