The uglier side of the ancient Asian tradition of senicide or gerenticide to leave the aged people in the forests to be eaten away by animals or fend for themselves awaiting death came to light again in China shocking the entire world.
The old woman from Pizhou county in Jiansu province was left in an open field apparently by her family for several days that the bystanders informed the local authorities who shifted her to a nearby hospital where she died.
The old woman was bundled in dirty quilts and photos of her soon made it to the online sparking a debate over the responsibility of such abandoned aged and elderly people in China.
In Japan too, the tradition called Ubasute (abandoning an old woman) existed and usually sons carried their aged or infirm mothers deep into the mountains and left them to die as depicted in the The Ballad of Narayama, a 1956 novel by Shichirō Fukazawa, which was made into a film in 1958, and again in 1983.
More than that the sad photo also underscores the country’s poor healthcare facilities for the aged and the poor. An instance of a farmer who could not afford medical expenses had to be amputated his both legs came to light recently besides an attempt by a poor man who tried to cut his one leg and chopped off the foot of another with a kitchen knife due to blocked arteries.