April 16, 2011

Aging without Dignity

 Bucharest, 2011

This man seeking charity amid stopped traffic is among over 40% of Romanians who are poor, many of whom are elderly trying to live on meager government pensions that do not cover basic needs. There are not enough public or social community based care facilities here to give relief to the weak and ailing. 

With this post I do not mean to spotlight the negative side of my host country. I have witnessed plenty of heart-breaking poverty elsewhere in my travels around the world. And from what I've read, overall, Romanians are not without wholesome food. Still, that probably does not apply to this poor man.

It is rather disgraceful how even many so-called developed countries have removed the basic safety net for its retired senior citizens. I question our collective priorities daily.

Thus I reflect for Weekend Reflections and Weekend in B+W.

25 comments:

Dragonstar said...

This is a very fine photo. The composition, with the man and his reflection, is perfect.

Also, a very strong social statement, and all the better for being in black and white.

Lesley said...

This is a very poignant photo, made more so by the closed window in the car.

Jan Halvard said...

Nice photo!

Welcome to visit my blog and see my
weekend in Black and White!

Have a nice weekend!

Jan Halvard, Norway
¡Buenos dias Bolivia!

Clytie said...

This poignant and moving photo touched my heart. And broke it at the same time.

Sylvia K said...

I can only repeat what the others have written, Francisca, as I feel exactly the same way! Such a sad, poignant reflection shot it is! I feel it quite deeply because of my own age and I can't help but wonder what I would be doing if my circumstances were the same. Hope your weekend goes well!

Sylvia

BJ Roan said...

This is a sad state of affairs, but more and more of the elderly are finding themselves in poverty, and not only in your country. Well done!

Kay L. Davies said...

A very moving statement, Francisca.
-- K

LauraX said...

heartbreaking and far too commonplace around the world Francisca.

Ms. Becky said...

this photo tells quite a story. it's very moving and so beautiful I'm a bit speechless. when I enlarged it and saw the close-up of his fingers, that's when it hit me.

Theanne and Baron said...

Excellent photo of a tragic situation!

'Tsuki said...

I'm not sure I agree with the tittle in fact : agging has nothing to do with dignity, but by reading what you written I was able to understand what you meant. That is true, one's lucky when one's isn't poor in those countries (and by those country, I don't mean only European country such as Romania : there are tons of country where public cares do not exist, and where we can get this type of sad images. Even in our own riches country a few actually lives like that, in fact, but we simply don't take their picture, not fancy enough).

Heartbreaking picture, Francisca, bravo.

J Bar said...

I agree. Quite a statement.

Dina said...

Your picture is a sharp contrast of the haves and the have-nots.
There must be a better way . . .

Andy said...

Besides the reflection on the car your photo reflects a lot more than that. The photo reflects a lot of feelings towards the viewer. Your words also reflect to me of how lucky I am to be living in Canada. That doesn't mean there is no poverty here. Even the richest country in world (USA) has poverty.

Jacob and Lois Anne said...

Drama on a crutch! So sad. But if the Republicans have their way this is how we'll end up in the States, too! In fact, we've moved a long way toward such an end already!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It is of course disgraceful -- and sadly it is of course also part of the USA.

You do an excellent job of portraying, via picture and words, the down side of the country where you are. I have tried a few times to post something about the negative sides of places where we are and it doesn't come off well. So my blog ends up sounding like an illustration for 'Don't worry be happy'... (and I'm really not that kind of person at all) as Bill would attest, because he usually gets the brunt of my despair.

Kaori said...

This is one thing that always opens my eyes when I go overseas. We have many homeless people here in Japan, but have never seen anyone beg. It's very sad seeing this.

joo said...

Great and very important post Francisca! It's a problem of many developing post - communist counties, I reckon! We had to cope with this as well, and we still do, I'm afraid!

Genie said...

This is such a touching and beautiful shot. I agree with your thoughts. I am so glad you shared this as black and white - I think is a far more powerful photograph that if it had been in color. I definitely touches the viewer’s soul. Fine work.

H said...

A reflective post in more ways than one, and I totally agree with the questions about how there can be poverty in our rich nations.

tapirgal said...

Yup.

James said...

Excellent photo but a very sad situation.

Ann said...

In NZ, people are proud, they are at junctions with a small bottle of water and glass wiper, and offer to clean your windscreen.

TheChieftess said...

A very sad and very real problem...social change is difficult at it's best, but so many societies do not take into account the people who have relied on things being one way in their future planning, only to have it changed at the drop of a dime...not through revolution, but through planned change...just not planned well enough to take care of the fall out...

Very poignant Francisca...

JM said...

So sad but so real...