Finding out the origin of a family, and its original form is a futile exercise. We cannot imagine of an age when a family did not exist. The man has been leading a family life in some form or the other for sexual satisfaction and desire to reproduce children. We cannot think of a time, prior to which a family did not exist.
However, it can be proved as to why did families develop in different forms of the societies of same country or different countries and in what circumstances. The purpose of development of family is the process of development of different forms of families.
Family is a permanent and eternal group, which is based on social life. It provides the complete set up for the birth and nurturing children. Division of families is the main problem of this age. There are several reasons for this division and has affected the attraction towards joint family.
International family day is celebrated on 15 May every year. The condition of elderly family members is pitiable and is a global phenomenon but from Indian point of view the joint families are getting divided at a very fast pace. The consequence is lack of care for elderly and old family members. According to a survey, India will have around 17 crore old citizens by the year 2026. According tothe reports of census department, there will be around nine crore youth by the end of same year.
If we talk about Indian culture, there was arrangement for Vanaprashtha ashram or living in forest if not old age homes. But, now the number of old age homes is increasing very fast. As per a survey report there are around 3000 old age homes in India and 90 percent are run by non-government organizations. The government old age homes are free but it is difficult to find accommodation. Presently, more than eight crore old people are leading their lives in old age homes. A conference for ‘World assembly of ageing’ was held in 1982 and the Indian representative declared very proudly that India is free from the problems for old people. But after 20 years, another conference was held in 2002 and the previous statement was found to be just opposite. Therefore it can be said indisputably that division of joint families
has affected the freedom of elderly people to a great extent. According to Help Age India out of eight crore old aged people living in old age homes, five percent live below poverty line. Around two percent are living on government pension whereas majority of the old people are leading a helpless life due to division of joint families. Old people above 75 years of age are facing family problems and they forcibly take the decision of living the rest of their lives in old age homes. The Indian government made citizen welfare and maintenance act in 2007 looking into the pathetic condition of old people, which bind the youth to take care of their parents and elderly family members. However, the old age homes are also shelters for depressed and lonely people apart from old aged people.
Yogrishi Swami Ji Maharaj has proposed the construction of cottages under ‘Vanaprashtha ashram scheme’ for people above 50 years of age who are capable of contributing their services for Patanjali Yogpeeth. Under this scheme the person can construct three types of cottages and live in the premises of Yogpeeth and reap the benefits.
Such measures are necessary in order to take care of our old citizens. Give them respect, love and care and the first and foremost responsibility is to stop the division of family. They have wiped your tears and stood with you at every step. Now it is your duty to stop tears rolling down from their eyes. You are their blood; otherwise celebrating such family days is meaningless. Let us all take a vow that we will respect our elderly family members.