Around 500 turned up at Jobs@60 organised exclusively for senior citizens by the Nightingales Medical Trust in Bangalore on Saturday
Dinakaran, a retired army stenographer, is in the long queue of senior citizens applying for a fresh job. It isn’t boredom or disenchantment with a retired life that brings him here but “dire need”, as he still has to support his family. “My son earns a meagre salary and my daughter is still studying. I cannot afford to be retired.”
Around 500 have turned up at Jobs@60 organised exclusively for senior citizens by the Nightingales Medical Trust here on Saturday. Organisers say they had received around 800 applications but had only 350 job openings, forcing them to shortlist the aspirants. Many registered on the spot too, said Nightingales managing trustee Radha S. Murthy.
The trust received entries from retired bank employees, public sector workers, homemakers, production managers and workmen among others. Trust members said during their interaction with the elders, they found many are financially insecure, without any pension or other source of regular income. Some were even forced to work for their livelihood.
“It is very difficult for me and my wife to survive. The minimum expense of one single day is Rs. 100. Except for bank interest and some amount from my son, we don’t have any other source of income,” said Ravi Rao (name changed), retired planning secretary in Bharat Electronics. He added his only son is not to be blamed for his state. “My daughter-in-law does not like us and so we shifted to another house. Children nowadays don’t look after older people and have no time for us. As long as I’m healthy, I will work and sustain my and my wife’s living [and] be independent.”
Sharmila (name changed), who shares the same sentiments, said she is single and does not want to “disturb” her children who live separately. She does not receive any pension, but is confident that her health permits her to work.
Some of the senior citizens who spoke to The Hindu said though they could afford to sit back and enjoy their retirement, they preferred to work to keep their minds active. For instance, for Narayana (name changed), a retired senior manager at Canara Bank, the job is a means to “keep himself occupied and not for salary”. “My kids are abroad, my wife is no more and I don’t want to sit alone at home. A job will give me some engagement in a day, relieving me from the botheration (sic) of solitude.”