As the popular saying goes, age is just a number. About 250 senior citizens between the ages of 50 to 60 years which included 150 men and 100 women attended a match-making event which was organised in Bengaluru last Sunday. “We are moved by the response, as senior citizens, including single, widowed or divorced came in search of a companion,” Anubhandana Foundation member Bharatbhai Patel said, reported The Times Of India.
Company in old age is a major social problem for senior citizens in India who are living alone or away from children. Admitting to this, Bharatbhai said that the Ahmedabad-based foundation had been organising such events in a few cities across the country to enable elderly people find a suitable companion and lead a meaningful life. “Though the response this time has been 50 less than the 300 when the event was hosted here for the first time in January 2014, the participants have come from other parts of Karnataka, including Mangaluru, Hubballi, Mysuru and Raichur,” Bharatbhai recalled. The oldest person among the men was 78 years and among the women it was a woman of 55 years.
Among the participants, about 10 got engaged at the venue. A dozen more agreed to meet again and decide on when to tie the knot. Several others registered their details with the foundation to help them find a suitable companion from its database in other cities. “Nuclear families, career pursuits and changing lifestyle have been disrupting the life of senior citizens as their sons and daughters leave them behind after education on getting jobs or on getting married and then they live separately in the same city or other cities in India or abroad,” Bharatbhai said.
While the majority of senior citizens belonging to the middle class are financially sound or self-sufficient, it is loneliness or lack of company that makes them marry again breaking the barriers of communities, caste and creed.