About Us - HelpAge India, NGO in India

About Us

HelpAge India is a leading charity in India working with and for disadvantaged elderly for nearly 4 decades. It was set up in 1978 and is registered under the Societies’ Registration Act of 1860. There are an estimated 106 million elderly in India. HelpAge advocates for their needs such as for 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. It works hand-in-hand with Senior Citizens Associations understanding elder needs working with and for them.

The aim is to serve elder needs in a holistic manner, enabling them to live active, dignified and healthier lives.

HelpAge’s focus over the years has moved from Welfare to Development. It provides elderly relief through various agecare interventions such as – it runs one of the largest mobile healthcare programs through its Mobile Healthcare Units spanning the country providing free healthcare services to destitute elders, it helps elders earn their livelihood through the formation of Elder-Self-Help Groups making self-reliant, it conducts cataract surgeries to restore their sight, looks after their basic needs though its Support-a-Gran program, runs Elder Helplines across the country, provides relief & rehabilitation for elders post disasters and provides active-ageing opportunities.

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


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.


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 27 states with 127 project offices in India and headquartered at the capital’s Qutab Institutional Area.