Seniors in the satellite city Navi Mumbai are better off than their counterparts in Mumbai. People in the city rue about the kind of space available in the satellite city for seniors to go for a walk, meet their friends during birthdays and spend useful time in the evening with a purpose whereas the city being congested , there is hardly any place to have a free walk in fresh air.
The “Helping Hands” of the seniors spread to every nook and corner of the country. It helps to spread awareness about the needs of senior citizens and makes them know of their own rights. This includes how to make use of the pension amount to profitable investments and earning good returns. Such returns earned can be made use for the monthly medical expenses without pinching the pocket.
In Navi Mumbai, there are number of yoga centres to spend the fresh morning time doing some useful exercises in the company of other seniors as well youngsters. In every nook and corner of Navi Mumbai, there are parks to enjoy the greenery and get fresh air as well. As the city is catering to the needs of pensioners, it can be rightly be called as pensioner’s paradise. However, there is a dearth of frequency of buses and the height of the foot board of the buses gives the seniors a nightmarish experience to board and alight from a bus. More and more user-friendly buses with low foot boards can help out the cause as in the case of air conditioned buses plying in the city with high cost. Co-operative societies should be formed to sell household items at a cheaper rate for 60 plus citizens in the State.
Undoubtedly, pension is a great help to the retired. But in the recent times, the house rent, prices of essential commodities, high cost of hospitalisation has harmed the pensioners to a great extent. The value of the pension has been eroded greatly. As a result, we as pensioners find it very difficult to maintain a decent living.
The city is not bereft of drawbacks. Footpaths have virtually become extinct due to over height and piling of construction material or garbage. Street dogs pose another problem. One can even see more than a dozen dogs flocking together sometimes. Casualties due to dog bites are not uncommon. Another problem is the prices. Everything is costlier than other cities whether it is house rent, transportation or fruits and vegetables.
It is time to give pride of place to pensioners in the satellite city. Further safety and security of the seniors should be ensured as there are number of chain snatching and the lonely senior is a target even when staying at home. It is a clarion call to bring the problems of seniors to forefront and give them freedom to live rest of their life in peace and harmony.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)