THEY DID NOT LEAVE YOU WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG, SO DO NOT FORGET THEM NOW WHEN THEY ARE OLD…
NSHM KNOWLEDGE CAMPUS, ORGANIZED “Y-WALK 2019” – WALK FOR THE ELDERLY IN THE BACKDROP OF RISING VIOLANCE AGAINST SENIOR CITIZENS
Kolkata, 27 February 2019: NSHM School of Media & Design, NSHM Knowledge Campus, Kolkata organised “Y-WALK” – Walk for the elderly 2019 in the backdrop of rising violence against senior citizens at Rabindra Sarobar Gate (Near Nazrul Mancha). The event saw presence of Sri Sujit Bose, Minister of State for Fire & Emergency Services, Govt. of West Bengal along with Sri Dibyendu Barua and his wife Saheli Barua, Chess Grandmasters, Smt Debalina Dutta, actor, at the flag off ceremony. The inaugural ceremony saw presence from members of the Veteran Sports Club, Chalantika and SWAYAM along with eminent educationists, social activists, politicians, sports personalities and celebrities from all walks of life. Around 1000 participants including NSHM students assembled and walked for the cause of safety, security, healthcare, wellness and in-family dignity with care for the elderly. The event was supported by British Deputy High Commission (Kolkata), Asia Centre-Thailand & Malaysia, SWAYAM, Press Club-Kolkata, Public Relations Society of India (Kolkata Chapter), Susrut and Eldergarten.
India is undergoing a demographic transition and by 2050, India will have one-fifth of its population in the senior citizen category, as indicated in Census report 2011. Kolkata, which accounts for 69% of young-old (age group – 60-69 years), 22% of old-old (70-79 years) and 9% of oldest-old (age group 80+ years), as per Helpage India Elder Abuse 2018 Report, has witnessed elder abuse cases in the past. This has been in different forms. While 51% of elders feel disrespect amounts most towards elder abuse, 42% feel verbal abuse amounts to elder abuse. 32% of the senior citizens feel neglect is another form of elder abuse.
According to Helpage India Elder Abuse 2018 Report, 60% of senior citizens nationally agree that elder abuse is prevalent in the society; 86% of the senior citizens of Kolkata feel it is prevalent indeed. Lonely elderly parents with children living outside Bengal is almost an every household phenomenon. With the breakdown of joint family culture, rising life expectancy, high cost of medical emergency and medicines, negligible lifetime savings and lower pension schemes, the elderly people often face poverty and become dependent on their son/daughters. Abuse in different forms has been prevalent and reported from time to time. Elderly parents often complain about their own son & daughter-in-law abusing, betraying and even abandoning them for property. Things are worse when parents stay under the same roof yet feel unsafe and face disrespect from children. The plight of some of the senior citizen parents is such that their access maybe restricted to just the attic or a corner room, where they battle with unhygienic conditions as well as live in utter discomfort in the last stage of their lives.
Shri Soumyojit Mahapatra, representing Public Relations Society of India said, “We at PRSI, Kolkata Chapter are happy to be associated with NSHM on its endeavour to support safety, security and care for the elderly. The society is facing a major challenge these days where parents are left alone with no emotional support from the children. The younger generation feels monetary support to be enough while parents need care and affection. Hence these areas need immediate attention so that the elderly in our country can enjoy a happy life with dignity.”
Smt. Leena Ghosh, CEO, Eldergarten said, “We, at Eldergarten not only take care of the health conditions of the senior citizens, we take charge of their holistic well being too. This initiative by NSHM resonates with our mantra very well.”
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Cecil Antony, Chief Mentor & Managing Trustee, NSHM Knowledge Campus said, “We at NSHM Knowledge Campus Kolkata, believe in making our students not only successful in their respective careers but also to be a responsible citizen. We have our own broadcasting community radio, ‘Y FM’, using which the students frequently highlight societal issues, which need intervention from authorities at large. The students visit NGO’s and old age homes as part of our KSR campaign and come back with real life experiences, which shake them from inside. Such instances have inspired us to not only come up with the concept of Y-WALK to highlight such sensitive topics but at the same time to create awareness about the need of taking care of elderly parents and not let them live a sad and lonely life. ”