Today, we live in a world where man is progressing every single day. Just like every coin has two sides, along with progress on one hand, man has created lot many problems for himself on the other. These problems also include numerous social issues, out of which, one staring us in the face today is of the so-called ‘generation gap’. In view of the same, an initiative was taken up by SIESCOMS, in the form of ‘A face-to-face talk show involving the senior citizens and the youth’. The purpose of this event was to address the various problems caused by generation gap, and to inculcate a sense of social sensitivity in the student community.
The talk show was conducted on Friday, 05th October 2012. The participants belonged to two extreme generations, the ‘sixty-plus’ age group and the ‘barely twenty-five’ age group. The guests of the talk show were eleven members of The Senior Citizens’ Association, CBD Belapur. There were some in their sixties and others in their eighties. Nonetheless, each one of them was enthusiastic and young at heart.
The two hour long session, saw very lively and hearty discussions on the various issues faced by the two generations, and methods to resolve them. The start of the session saw the topic of the relevance of the older generation’s experience in today’s world. The answers from the students portrayed varied points of view. But, the lucid explanation given by one of the senior members as, “By the time a man realises that may be his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he is wrong” proved to be most convincing.
The discussion, then took a turn towards money matters and ‘Whether money is everything in life?’. Varied views were presented regarding the same. Some agreed with the fact that money indeed was the panacea to all difficulties and one should always focus on earning more money. Whereas, some others were of the opinion that, more than money, it is the peaceful sleep at night that matters. It was a nice attempt to make the younger generation realize, when and to what extent, money should be given importance.
The next problem addressed, was that of social and cultural aspects. Here, a few students were of the opinion that, both the generations shared common core values, the difference was only in the way the values were being implemented. Other students begged to differ, by saying that, it is the dynamics of the societal demands that leads to the changes in the value system of each generation. To this, the senior members had one unanimous point to make, that said, in order to progress in the right way, one essentially needs to have a right value system in place.
Next was a problem that hundreds of Indian parents are facing today, that of their children settling abroad, without caring for their old parents who are left behind feeling lonely and impaired. The various problems faced by such parents and also the reasons for the same were discussed. Also, some students opined that settling abroad gave them better opportunities to support their families in India and abroad. A solution to the issue was suggested by one of the senior members, as, “Probably, children should go abroad, as they must not miss out on the promising opportunities. But, they need to set a limit, on fulfilling which, they should fly back home and be there for their parents”. A sensitive issue, as it was, created a very emotional atmosphere.
As the session drew towards closure, it was unanimously agreed upon by both the generations, that with a little effort from either side, the generation gap could be easily bridged. The students were very content for having had the opportunity to interact with the experienced senior section of the society. They looked up to the senior citizens with renewed respect and gratitude. To this, the senior citizens reciprocated with a lot of concern and affection.
It was indeed a holistic learning experience and served as a value addition to the student community. Such sessions, help us become more socially sensitive, and to relate to the various problems faced by the society. The students of SIESCOMS would indeed look forward to more of such interactive sessions.
MMS – A (2012-14)