Newspapers came out with special articles and full page advertisements on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons yesterday. It is good that we spare some time at least once in a year to remember our elders. This is one big advantage of dedicating different days of the year to different sections of the society.
From the special write-ups, I came to know of the initiatives that are being taken by Governments, organisations and individuals for our elders. I read about the Madhya Pradesh Government providing free trips for senior citizens to pilgrimage centres. While some may find the move quite extravagant, it is nice that old people are getting a chance to come out of their boring environment and travel to places of their choice. For some of them, visiting pilgrimage centres would have been a distant dream.
I also read about short stay centres that would be built in Delhi to take care of the elderly when their children go out of the city for a short period. This will avoid the need for them to be left alone at home and will also give their children the confidence that their parents/grand-parents would be safe and looked after well while they are away.
There were also reports on recreation centres and laughter clubs. Such facilities are required to enable the elders to share their joys and sorrows with the people of their age. These will also make some private moments possible for their children.
Unfortunately, I did not read much about medical facilities for the elderly. We need to provide them access to affordable and quality medical facilities. It is important that they are as fit and healthy as is possible at their age.