72-year-old Baskaran completed his 4000 km target on 18th March 2019, leaving behind him an extraordinary journey of about 60 days cycling non-stop. With senior citizens joining him along the way, the journey became all the more special. The Cyclothon which commenced on Jan. 19, under HelpAge India’s Project Silver Cyclothon was aimed at bringing home the importance of ‘Active Ageing’ and Staying Fit in later years for our elders and also to draw attention to the critical needs of the elderly, focusing on old age homes which provide long term care for the elderly. Hari Baskaran visited many old age homes along his journey across the states and interacted with senior citizens understanding and highlighting their needs.
“This is a first for HelpAge India, we have never done a Cyclothon for elders. To see so many enthusiastic Silver Cyclers here today, really makes us feel proud, as HelpAge has always encouraged Active Ageing in order to live one’s later years with dignity. I am very happy to see school children here encouraging the elders, it’s an important message for the younger generation, that even your parents & grand parents have dreams and you must encourage & help fulfill those dreams, just as they do yours. I am also glad that Hari was able to visit old age homes during his journey and help in raising awareness on the critical issue of the importance of age care facilities for disadvantaged elders. We need more of these today, with so many elders being abandoned by their own,” says Mathew Cherian, CEO, HelpAge India.
“It has been an extraordinary journey for me personally. It has always been my dream to cycle across our country and I want to tell all my friends over 60 years that ‘never stop dreaming, cause dreams do come true’ and take care of your body, cause only a healthy body can house a healthy mind. I have learnt so much about elder needs and have felt the urgent need to have quality care in old age home facilities, to look after those elders who are not so fortunate. I want to thank the HelpAge family, for the kindness & compassion with which I have been taken care of, it has made this journey possible and my dream come true” – says Hari Baskaran, Silver Cyclist.