Project Silver Cyclers is a unique Cyclothon led by a dynamic70 year old man namely Hari Baskaran, to draw attention to the critical needs of the Age Care; focussing on old age homes which provide long term care for the elderly. The Cyclothon covers 4000 km spanning across the country. Will commence on 21st January 2019 in Chennai and culminate on 19th March, 2019.
Baskaran is a man of many talents, besides being an inspiration of Active Ageing he is a Business Leader, Mentor and a Coach. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai, India, he comes with a rich business background. Prior to his retirement he was the Executive Vice President in HCL Info Systems Limited and Executive Director in Xerox India. Hari has always been an avid cyclist and trekker and is interested in photography, philosophy and travel. He enjoys participating in long distance cycling events and dedicated his last 250 km ride at the ‘Desert 500’ event in Rajasthan, to care and rehabilitation of disadvantaged children affected by cancer.
The Cyclothon dedicated towards Age care, aims to mobilize funds from the corporates and the society at large, to assist care givers in the critical task of caring for the elderly. With a population of an estimated 104 million elderly in the country and the numbers are expected to rise by 2025, Ageing brings with it numerous challenges for our senior citizens. Half of the elderly population are dependants and the majority of these elders are women. Most of the elders are forced to live alone or in an old age home due to disrespect, abandonment, verbal and physical abuse, neglect, ill health and challenges of mobility. The lack of companionship and alienation of the family members, make life even more lonely and painful for the elders.
Elders yearn for a life of self-respect, financial stability and being surrounded by loved ones. They long for love, attention and affection. Understanding their basic requirements and concerns will not only ensure their good health but also increase their confidence. Offering emotional support to the elders keeps them cheerful and expectant of life.
Elders suffering from cognitive challenges’ experience severe characteristic changes and need to be dealt with care and precaution. Hence awareness regarding the senior age care programs and home support for the elderly is very important to restore their confidence and dignity by giving them respect and attention.
The Cyclothon covers 4000 kilometres cross country with stopovers at various old age homes chosen along the route to understand the homes needs for providing adequate support and care for the elderly. The Cyclothon aims to inspire & engage with citizens along the route to join Baskaran in this brave initiative taken up by him & HelpAge.
The Cyclothon route was finalized in consultation with HelpAge India to cover the old age care facilities where significant investments have been made by HelpAge in support of the elderly. The Cyclothon will commence from Chennai and terminate at India Gate in Delhi on March 19, 2019.
The proposed route to be covered is Chennai, Bangalore, Tumkur, Sankeshwar, Satara, Kolhapur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jaipur and Gurugram. The Silver Cyclers will be joined in by Cycling Clubs, local Military establishments, adventure enthusiasts, Non-profit organizations and senior citizens along the proposed route. A medical vehicle will be available at all times to provide support to the participants.
The objective of the Cyclothon is to provide support and create awareness regarding elder Agecare and gather relevant support from corporates, NGO’s, Defense establishments and society at large and encourage them to participate in this worthy cause.
This initiative led by Hari Baskaran reminds us that we are never too old to try, or do things which we always wanted to do. That age is just a number and dreams do come true. Sooner or later we all will be standing at the same crossroads, and one can learn much from Baskaran’s spirit of ‘never give up on living your dreams’. It is imperative that we take action now, to create a secure and happy environment for our elders. We must not forget the people who once cared for us.
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” ― Margaret Mead