Sending children abroad should be one of the most irrational, illogical, and foolish things that Indian parents do. I can understand what benefits children (think they) might have by going abroad, but why do parents even agree to send their children abroad, often spending Lakhs of their own money, is beyond me!
Let us first admit that there is some selfishness in everything. Parents are concerned about the well being of their kids, but they also want something back (it can be money or emotional support or pride or whatever) over a period of time. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.
But one thing that I find to be irrational, illogical, and foolish on the part of Indian parents is: sending their children abroad. I mean, permanently. And that too, after investing in their kid for so many years. (I am sorry if you are offended by the word ‘investing’, but that’s the truth – high time you accept it.)
Let’s see what motivates parents to send their children abroad –
- They can brag to everyone that their kid is studying or working ‘abroad’. This imaginary social status is silly considering that so many people are going abroad these days!
- They can visit US or Europe in the guise of visiting their son/daughter. Seriously? Check some packaged tours from reputed tour operators. You might end up spending less and enjoying more!
- They can get more money because their children earn in Dollars vs INR. Partially true, but it stops once the children are married/have their own families. (Mostly.)
- They can get a lot of dowry. And send all that money/jewels abroad too?
- They can also settle down abroad, along with their children, after a few years. The fallacy of such false hopes will be evident in a few years.
I am not saying that children who settle down in India are sweet pies and gems. But if there is an emergency or an event, children can always reach their parents, even on a short notice. Can children settled abroad do that?
The surprising thing is, parents know the raw deal that they are going to get. Still they do it and quietly suffer in their old age.
I wonder if it’s a result of Karma. Maybe they have ignored their own parents and are now having to face the same game played on them, only from a different location?
PS: I know the plight of at least three sets of parents in their 80s left alone in India, even through they have more than one child, all settled abroad. That motivated me to write this. Of course, you may have a different opinion as these issues cannot be generalized.