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AIZAWL, (PTI): Mizoram has old age homes but very few residents, because for a Mizo, looking after aged parents and in-laws is never a matter of choice.

"Our close family setup since the days of our forefathers is the major reason why we do not have lonely elders languishing in old-age homes," K Malsawma, a former president of the Mizoram Upa Pawl (MUP), the state's apex elders's association says.

Malsawma, a retired state civil service officer, says that in a Mizo family, the youngest son usually inherited the property and was also entrusted with looking after parents getting on in years.

"The younger generation is undoubtedly keeping up the cultural values alive," he says with a touch of pride pointing out that though Mizo society was highly westernised it did not follow the West in keeping senior citizens in old-age homes.

In this regard, the wife of the youngest son in the family is the main person who is reponsible for looking after the well being of in-laws, a social worker said.

For Zoramthangi, a 24 year-old government employee, looking after her ailing in-laws is not an option.

"They looked after us when we were young and needed them, so we will look after them in return as they are part of our life," she says simply.

Source: The Hindu

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