Privilege is having a home and having food and staying quarantined. Yes staying quarantined and saving ourselves from the coronavirus is a privilege. As a research scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University who is working in the field of the elderly homeless population in Delhi, it would be unfair of me if I don’t talk about the most vulnerable section which is badly hit by the Coronavirus.
I am referring to the elderly homeless population, It’s not normal being elderly and homeless, it’s hard because they are less immune and they need special care. We are experimenting with new things, hobbies to kill time at home, where the elderly who are homeless are not even sure that they would see the dawn. We need to be sensitive about this most vulnerable section, we know that the maximum of deaths due to coronavirus happened in the elderly population.
They have no place to stay or save themselves from this virus. Each day, their struggle of survival is in question where they have no work, no food. Elderly homeless do not have any place to rest. They cannot lie down and go in deep sleep; they will always have police or somebody waking them up telling them they do not belong here.
This is the reality of our country. The elderly have been deserted by their families, their age is a hindrance to the fast pace of life in developing nations. They are “India’s invisible people.” It is harsh but true that the young generation has moved on leaving the elderly to fend for themselves.
India has been a traditional society where parents take care of children and children then take care of their elderly parents, but the fast pace of life in new India has changed that and young India has no time for the elders. There are hardly any policies talk about elderly homeless people in the present scenario.
This time my heart goes out to them praying for their lives. I wish that society come together to help an elderly homeless person and help them throughout this fight we have against the coronavirus.