On the morning of Oct.1 at Rajpath marking “International Day of Older Persons” 5000 senior citizens marched proudly towards India Gate symbolizing ‘Active Ageing’ and ‘Inter-generational bonding’ proving that age was no deterrent to leading a healthy and happy life if one made up one’s mind. Flagged off by Kumari Selja, Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India, it was an inspiring sight to see senior citizens ranging from 60 to 80 walking with an unusual spring in their gait.
Reinforcing their spirit, HelpAge put up a unique mime act performed by group Jagran with three simple messages for a healthy life in later years: ‘Be Physically Fit’, ‘Be Emotionally Engaged’ and ‘Be financially Independent’. Joining the senior citizens was a tableau of massive larger than life figureheads of Active Ageing faces, standing out from the crowd.
Besides the capital, the Walkathon was held across the nation in 10 locations: Shimla, Kerala, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Guwahati & Chennai.
“The theme for these years Walkathon is ‘Get Active! Stay Active!’ which we at HelpAge truly believe. The aim is to showcase senior citizens as inspiring & active members of society, not just to their peers but also to the younger generation and also urge inter-generational bonding. This Walkathon has become symbolic for elders across the nation and not just the national capital. Hosted each year with the support of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, each face you see here today is filled with determination, with a zest for living,” – says Manjira Khurana, Country Head – Communications, HelpAge India.
Nearly 65 Senior Citizen Association groups with their members, individuals along with sixth standard school children from DLF School, Sahibabad and Vivekanand Schoolof age group 11 to 12 years, spilled across the lawns of Rajpath today, wearing T-shirts and caps with slogans reading loud and clear ‘Hamri Sanskriti ki hain Pehchaan, Buzurgo ki Suraksha aur Samman’ (Our culture’s identification is equated with security and respect for elders).
This will be followed by a formal Felicitation Award function and release of the Global Age Watch Index Report at the India Habitat Centre later in the day at 3:30 pm.
About HelpAge India
HelpAge India is a leading charitable organization working with and for older people in India for the past 35 years. It runs age care programmes throughout the country & advocates strongly for the cause of the elderly and fights for their rights. It also advises & facilitates the Government in formation of policy related to the elderly.
For Information contact: Sonali Sharma – 9810676562 / Umang – 8802349929