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5th February 2024 (9 Topics)

Senior Citizens in Travel and Public Spaces

Context:

Senior Citizens form an important group within any society, their contribution, experience and values help shape it up. Also caring and looking after them becomes important part of societal responsibility. Accessibility and public spaces are crucial areas where emphasis needs to be paid.

1. Lack of Assistance and Consideration in Travel Situations:

   - Absence of Flight Information: Airlines fail to communicate delays adequately, leaving senior citizens unaware and inconvenienced at the airport.

   - Limited Access to Lounges: Challenges faced while attempting to access travel lounges, reserved for certain club members and credit card holders, due to long queues and overcrowding.

   - Boarding Discomfort: Unpleasant experiences during boarding, including the struggle to find seats, confrontations over seat reservations, and inadequate assistance during the boarding process.

2. Unpleasant Boarding Experiences in Public Transportation:

   - Bus and Train Ordeals: Seniors encounter difficulties while boarding buses and trains, facing a lack of seating, pushing, shoving, and a disregard for their needs.

   - Elevator Etiquette: Describing the challenges faced when boarding elevators in India, especially during peak hours, with a focus on the behavior of citizens towards women and the disabled.

   - Civic Sense Decline: Observations on the declining civic sense, where even educated individuals display uncaring behavior, lacking consideration for elderly citizens or those with disabilities.

3. Call for Cultural and Educational Changes to Foster Kindness:

   - Importance of Early Education: Advocacy for incorporating values of empathy and consideration in the school curriculum, citing examples from Japan where children are taught to care for the elderly and differently-abled.

   - Reinforcement of Queue System: A call for strict enforcement of the queue system at various public spaces, emphasizing its necessity at airports, train stations, ticket counters, and other service points.

   - Promoting Kindness and Politeness: Drawing inspiration from courteous practices observed in the United States, the need to consciously instill kindness and politeness in societal behavior to create a more compassionate and considerate culture.

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