India is a young country, 50% of the population is below 25 years of age and 65% are below 35.
According to the 2011Census, 8.6% of Indians are above 60 years of age. That works out to over 110 million people today. Literacy among the 60-plus is 44%, up from 27% in 1991. Once they hit 60, there is an expectancy to live on for almost 18 more, on average.
How should they fend for themselves? Looked after by their children or by means of the returns on their own savings, supplemented, if needed, by state pensions?
It has been noticed in many families that members from young-age group have settled abroad for a long time and their parents remain alone at the home town in most of the cases which creates depression and loneliness for elders.
Many old age home’s work towards recreational activities to enable senior citizens to lead a quality lifestyle. The senior citizens are encouraged to participate in various creative pursuits and interesting activities e.g. yoga classes, spiritual sessions, picnics and food festivals for the health and entertainment of senior citizens.
The loneliness of senior citizens moved Rizwan Adatia, Founder Chairman, RAFSCD. He decided to celebrate his birthday on September 14, by taking 44 senior citizens for an international trip, absolutely for free. “This is a not-for-profit initiative working diligently to raise the Quality of Life of the Senior Citizens, by providing ample of recreational activities. This is just a beginning; RAFSCD is swiftly, invariably and diligently reaching out to all the Sr Citizens of our country,” he said.
Out of the 104 million elderly persons in India; 53 million are females and 51 million males. A report released by the United Nations Population Fund and Help Age India suggests that the number of elderly persons is expected to grow to 173 million by 2026.
“This tour will provide an opportunity to capture a moment in their lives and enjoy the company of 44 people from the similar age group. Arrangements are made to provide passports, luggage bags, clothes and 4 volunteers for the 5 differently-abled couples. Apart from medical care, wheelchairs will be provided to make them feel independent and mobile while on the cruise. Overall, a friendly atmosphere is created so that each member of this tour can do one thing in common which is to smile and enjoy them. Senior citizens will visit Singapore and Malaysia.”
Dignity Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation working for the elderly is re-launching its helpline service, with a new number. The helpline, which is assisted by four volunteers including a senior citizen, will process various requests by seniors.
While issues such as elder abuse and psychological and emotional counselling have been its focus areas, the Foundation is now also ready to run errands for seniors. Through trained counsellors, Dignity Foundation provides psychological and emotional support as well as strategies for coping with difficult circumstances.
In today’s world, we all are too busy to support our livelihood. We often forget that our old parents at home too need time from us. Our parents also need some recreation or entertainment in their lives. Although we want to do something for senior citizens but our busy schedule doesn’t permit us that very often which make feel the senior citizens isolated from the society.
The CSR Journal Team