About Us - HelpAge India, NGO in India

About Us

HelpAge India is a secular, not-for-profit organization in India, registered under the Societies’ Registration Act of 1860. Set up in 1978, the organization works for ‘the cause and care of disadvantaged older persons to improve their quality of life’ HelpAge envisions a society where elderly have the right to an active, healthy and dignified life. It recently became the first and only Indian organization to be honoured with the ‘UN Population Award 2020’ for its exemplary work in the field of ageing, relief efforts work during the Covid 19 pandemic and recognition of the organization’s outstanding contribution to population issues and efforts in the realization of older persons rights in India.

Currently there are a projected 138 million elderly in India. HelpAge India voices their concerns, so they can lead secure & dignified lives. It works through 26 State Offices across India, runs numerous programs on-ground, addressing elder needs and advocating for their rights, such as their right to Universal Pension, quality Healthcare, action against Elder Abuse and many more at a national, state and societal level with Central and State governments. It advocates for elder friendly policies and their implementation thereof.

The organization’s programs are focused on direct interventions in the areas of Healthcare (mobile healthcare units, cataract surgeries), Agecare (helplines, senior citizen care homes and day care centres, physiotherapy),  Livelihoods (elder-self-help groups; linkages with government schemes), Disaster Response (e.g. covid19 relief response), as well as Advocacy and Awareness on rights and policies relating to elders.

All donations to HelpAge India are eligible for 50% tax exemption under section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

History

HelpAge India came into being in 1978 with Cecil Jackson Cole, founder of HelpAge International (UK), as its first President. Around this time two other men figured prominently in the HelpAge India story – John F. Pearson and Samson Daniel.

Cecil Jackson Cole John F. Pearson Samson Daniel
Cecil Jackson Cole John F. Pearson Samson Daniel

 

Constant grants from the United Kingdom were something both Pearson and Cole felt would not be practical in the long run. They realized a regular inflow of funds was needed so that they could make a positive and lasting impact.

In March 1974, when Cole, visited India, an intrepid philanthropist named Samson Daniel approached him for financial help to set up a member organization in Delhi. A far-sighted man, Cole instead offered to train him to raise funds. After a three month training course in London, Mr. Daniel and his wife returned to India and organized a sponsored walk with schoolchildren in Delhi. It was so successful that in 1975 HelpAge International recruited more staff to cover Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.


Philip Jackson
Philip Jackson

In April 1978, HelpAge India was officially registered in Delhi and Pearson became a Trustee of the organisation and a key member of its Governing Board. One of the founder members of HelpAge International, Philip Jackson, joined HelpAge India the same year as its first Chief Executive.

Once financial support from the UK ceased, it took HelpAge India three months to become autonomous. Soon, the Society was awarded Certificates of Exemption under the Income Tax Act of 1961.


M.M.Sabharwal
M.M.Sabharwal

Two years later, Late Madan Mohan Sabharwal became an integral driving force of the HelpAge story. Sabharwal was a happily married man until tragedy stuck; at the age of 51, his wife died and left him a widower. Bereft, Sabharwal focussed his attention and many skills on the promotion of the cause of the aged. Soon, he took over as President of HelpAge India’s Governing Body, succeeding Pearson. Today, he is no longer with us, but he continues to be an inspiration and the spirit behind the elder cause.

What began as a humble initiative from a rented two-room office in New Delhi’s Kasturba Gandhi Marg, has now blossomed into an extensive operation spread across 26 states with headquartered at the capital’s Qutab Institutional Area.

 

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