Work until his death at the retirement paradise golden
Photo Karina Marceau
Monday, 26 march 2018 17:00
Monday, 26 march 2018 17:00
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Retire to the hot, the feet in the sand, at a fraction of the price of what we pay in Quebec; more of us dream about, and many are those who do. One of the countries topping the list for barter definitely winter boots from sandals is Thailand. However, paradoxically, thousands of Thai elderly work until they die in this so-called retirement paradise golden. Meeting, touching and unsettling with an elder thai exhausted, to the reality closer to us than we think.
District of Tha ka, Thailand, 6 o’clock in the morning. I have an appointment with Auntie, who begins her working day. She welcomes us into her modest home, my colleague and me, a wide smile, but with small tired eyes. The night was short. Five and a half hours only. Under his house on stilts, the eldest is built rudimentary kitchen that is barely five and a half feet tall. Impossible to walk there without bending the back. It is here that the mother of the family, which will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary, settled for the next four hours to prepare dozens of meals that she will deliver later in the dugout.
For nearly 50 years that she has been in this profession exotic cantinière boat. Wow, I’m impressed! I asked him candidly : “When you will you stop, Auntie?”. “When I am dead! I don’t have the means to stop working, but I’m tired, so tired!”, she answers the voice strangled by a sob. My meeting, in which the goal is to get to know a business genius, wakes me up to a pathetic reality. Auntie becomes, in effect, the face of millions of other human beings for whom retirement is just an unreachable mirage.
Nearly half of the elderly people of the planet are deprived of pension
According to a report of 2014 of the international labour Organization, “48 percent of people who have passed the retirement age in the world are not paid any pension and, for a good part of the 52% who perceive a, the protection is insufficient.” An issue that concerns the whole world, support for the ILO.
An elderly person on two can never stop working! The statistics gives cold in the back. All that in addition to the figure, these are lives which are very real and extremely difficult that the lives of these seniors yet of age to enjoy a rest more than deserved.
Working 6 out of 7 days under a blazing sun without even a pee break
After cooking for several hours, Auntie instructs its narrow canoe of dishes and a heavy container of stone that serves as a stove to coal. Wedged between all its equipment, the elderly lady paddling with, as the only protection against the sun, a wide straw hat. It is 10 a.m. in the morning. It’s been over 30 degrees Celsius.
His corner of the thai country is full of canals that are used since always roads navigable. Everywhere on the banks, men and women have built their house. A post-card like setting. It is to them that the meal of Auntie are intended. For a little more than 50 cents, the local residents can afford a good meal of noodles or soup delivered to their dock. During the next six hours, the eldest child will stay seated in his canoe to go and dock in a dock under the blazing sun without even taking the time, not even once, to stretch your legs or go to the toilet. Customers can’t wait…
It is a 15 h. Auntie goes home. It is now necessary to do the dishes and prepare for the next day. In total, the adorable older woman who has worked for over eleven hours without a break, for$ 20. A meagre salary with which her husband, now almost blind, and she is trying to survive. With such a pittance, it is impossible to put aside to store a day on his boat. The four children of the couple can’t help, too busy trying to meet their needs, and Auntie and her husband have no more access to any government support. The galley, what!
Far away but yet so close
I tell you the life of Auntie as it is for me a magnifying glass on an issue of human faced by all societies of the world : that enable all older people, today and tomorrow, to grow old with dignity.
The western countries cannot boast to be at the top of the question. The policies of austerity, which some call politely the ” practices of fiscal consolidation “, adopted from the early 2010 have yielded only the reduction of social protection for the elderly in many countries, as has been effectively highlighted the international labour Organization.
In us, the poverty of the elderly concerned. The number of bankruptcies among seniors 65 and older rose by 131% in the last 10 years in Quebec! Experts pull on the alarm bell, suggesting even a coming crisis on retirement income; a crisis that must be addressed now. “The high rates of poverty will continue to increase in the elderly. The rate of poverty among seniors living alone is already high, particularly among women, where it reaches almost 30 %.”, highlighted a study by the Broadbent Institute published in 2016.
The precariousness of employment, self-employment or part-time employment, periods of unemployment have significant effects on the retirement income. And that we have worked for one or the other level of government, a big box, a micro-enterprise or private, we all have the right, after having worked hard for decades to end our days without pulling the devil by the tail… that one is called Odette, Luc, François, Auntie.
Where do you begin?