How the national capital is celebrating Senior Citizens Day

New Delhi: While our fast-paced lives disable us to spend quality time with the elderly in our family, they often end up spending time in retirement homes, or daycare centres for elderly. August 21 is celebrated as Senior Citizens Day unofficially.

Senior citizens in these councils, and welfare forums often make friends amidst activities, and group efforts with their fellow veterans. JR Gupta, President of Senior Citizens Council of Delhi says, “Our members have cultural groups and they perform songs and dances on the day to celebrate the elderly.”

Senior Citizens Council of Delhi provides free physiotherapy and doctor’s consultation to its members around the year. The members are given yoga lessons and gym membership to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as well.

However, Dr Aabha Chowdhury, chairperson, Anugraha Recreation centre for senior citizens said, “The official senior citizens day as declared by the United Nations and as followed by the Government of India, is celebrated on October 1.”

“But since August 21 has become an unofficial senior citizens day, we decided to conduct an awareness programme on inter-generational bonding. A half-day workshop was conducted at the Ideal School of Law and Management, with about 1,000 students and 50 faculty members in attendance. The programme was conducted to help establish an understanding between the youth and senior citizens, with focus on youth sensitisation on elderly issues. We also stressed upon the Senior Citizen’s Maintainance Act. While some of our members participated, the programme also saw the involvement of some senior citizen judicial officers,” informed Dr Aabha. Anugraha operates out of seven north Indian state.

While the unofficial day was celebrated with fervour, what remains to be seen is how celebrations take place on October 1.

As told by Dr Aabha, their organisation in association with the Government of India conduct walkathons for senior citizens in all the seven states they operate from, other than a month-long series of activities.