Srijita Seal, columnist in Desher Samay, has vividly described the concept of Time Bank.
Old age is the last stage of life, as Shakespeare said,
“the sixth age Shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”
The concept of old age as a “second childhood” suggests that as people grow older, they may experience physical and cognitive decline that can resemble the vulnerabilities and dependence of childhood. During this stage of life all the elderly people require an additional pair of hands as they need physical, emotional and social support.
But many times it has been seen that the primary caregivers like the children really and other near ones are far away, as many might be busy with their work and other responsibilities or many elderly people may not have anybody to take care of them. And from this line of thought Swiss Ministry Of Health has created the “Time Bank” concept.
We all have heard the proverb that “time is money”, and the Swiss government has proved it , as they have introduced the magnificent concept .
According to this concept, time banking is a bartering system for services, where people exchange services for labor-time based credit rather than money.
Here, People volunteer to take care of the elderly people who require assistance and then the duration of hours he or she has served gets deposited in their social security account. In the due course of time, when this volunteer gets old and when he or she requires support, then he or she can get help by another new volunteer of the Time Bank by withdrawing the time which he or she had served at his or her young age.
Apart from Switzerland, many other countries have already embraced this concept like the United Kingdom, USA, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Greece, Singapore, etc.
The report of National Human Rights Commission India 2018-2019 initiated the concept of Time Bank. In India the concept has been popular in Rajasthan Madhya Pradesh and Chennai.
This facility is very essential but it is still not available in all the states of India. The government must arrange this type of bank all over the country.
Don’t you think this will be wonderful?