Saturday, 22 April 2017

101-year-old Mann Kaur aspiring to bring gold medal for India in the World Masters Games


Proud moment for all Indians especially senior citizens as 101 year old Mann Kaur from Chandigarh aspires to bring gold medal for India in the World Masters Games in Aukland, New Zealand.
She entered athletics at the age of 93 after being motivated by her 79 year old son Gurudev Singh, who is also an athlete. In 2016 she won gold medal at Americas Masters Games for her good performance.
She is getting lot of media coverage in New Zealand for her zeal and decision to participate at this age.(Read more: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/91712662/world-masters-games-welcomes-101yearold-sprinter-from-india & http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11839822).
As a gerontologist and proud Indian I consider it my personal responsibility to spread this good news and thereby acknowledge her strength, motivation, determination and hard work. She is truly an inspiration and a perfect example of healthy, productive and active ageing.
Please feel free to share your honest comment on the article also share it if you like it.
This article was originally published on www.seniorexpress.in

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

60+ Students Practicing Their Right to Education

Felt motivated while reading a news article few days back and thus thought of sharing it with you.

This positive news is from the Barmer District of Rajasthan where many senior citizens appeared in the state open exams for class 10th and 12th not out of any compulsion but just to follow their dreams of completing basic education. Read More: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/no-age-bar-senior-citizens-take-school-exams/articleshow/58039708.cms?from=mdr
I am happy that along with fulfilling their desires these seniors are also practicing their Right to Education. Through this act they are also inspiring the younger generation to educate themselves and become self sufficient.
Right to Education is an important tool for people of all ages, including senior citizens. In my professional and personal life I have met many senior citizens who are very passionate to go for higher education or to do some professional courses. I always encourage them to do so and fulfill their dreams as I am a strong proponent of “Activity Theory of Ageing” (developed by Robert. J. Havighurst in 1961) which emphasises that a person’s life satisfaction is directly related to his/her degree of social interaction and level of activity.
Additionally, I came across news from different parts of India which emphasises on senior citizen’s desire to pursue education, either for seeking professional degree (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/with-age-no-bar-even-60-year-old-register-for-mbbs-entry/articleshow/58090827.cms?from=mdr) or for completing basic education in a rural area (http://seniorexpress.in/forums/topic/aajibaichi-shala-grandmothers-school/).
Meeting passionate 60+ students in person and reading news items about more such examples in different parts of India not only motivates me but also makes me hopeful about the future of our country. Who says that only youth are the future? Such passionate seniors are also the future, who are setting a good example for the entire nation.
At Senior Express we keep sharing such positive news about senior citizens which are related to their rights like right to education, right to lead a dignified life, right to avail various facilities by the government, right to express themselves and various other rights which can be practiced by them to lead an active, healthy and productive life.
This article is originally published on www.seniorexpress.in

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Good News for Senior Citizens by Indian Railways


Recently I came across two good news for senior citizens by the Ministry of Railways. They are as follows:

1. Indian Railways will secure lower berths for women and senior citizens in trains by not allotting seat number to anyone even if the ticket is confirmed. (For details: http://www.zeebiz.com/india/news-now-indian-railways-wont-allot-you-a-seat-number-even-if-ticket-is-confirmed-14663)

2. The Ministry of Railways has withdrawn implementation of Aadhaar based ticketing system for senior citizens. So now senior citizens can book tickets without Aadhaar card. However, they have to carry alternate documents for identity proof during their travel. (For details: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/railways-withdraws-implementation-of-aadhar-based-ticketing-system-for-senior-citizens/articleshow/58132148.cms)

I am sure both the steps by Indian Railways will not only bring some relief to seniors but will also make their train journey relaxing.

Mobility is an important issue in old age so if seniors will have access to comfortable travel by public transportation system then it will definitely contribute towards promotion of active ageing in India.

This post was originally written on www.seniorexpress.in

Monday, 10 April 2017

My Positive Attitude Towards Life is My Biggest Strength


My name is Shyama Charan Upadhyay, I am 66 years old now. I retired from Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) as Deputy General Manager in 2011. I am basically from Uttar Pradesh and have been settled in Mumbai since 1971. I am an optimist who believes in spreading optimism in other’s life.

My Interests

I love travelling, my favourite cities are Mumbai and Paris. I also like watching movies, my favourite movie is Aarzu (Hindi). When I am at home I love watching TV with my wife.

My role model is Swami Vivekanand. I am deeply inspired by his philosophy since young age.


My Struggles in Life
During the early stages of my life I had to face many struggles, however my positive attitude towards life helped me in facing them well. Today, I am well settled and happy. I come from a modest background. My father was a farmer and I spent my childhood in my ancestral village, but I always had high aspirations. My positive approach, self belief and commitment to work hard helped me in achieving my ambitions.

Since my school days I wanted to study in one of the best universities of India so I studied hard and secured admission to Banaras Hindu University, which was considered to be one of the best universities of the country at that time. After graduating in Science stream I wanted to work in the best city of the country so I came to Mumbai with just Rs 60 in my pocket. After some initial struggle I was successful in getting job in MTNL from where I retired as Deputy General Manager in 2011.


Life after Retirement

I always wanted to contribute back to the society. However, due to time constraint I could not do this while I was working. Post retirement, to follow my passion of doing social work for needy people I joined Lions Club and currently I am the Vice President of Lions Club of North Mumbai. As a Vice President, I am involved in various social, cultural and administrative activities of my club. I am very happy that here I am able to fulfill my long term dream of doing some social work for disadvantaged section of the society. Right now I am involved in activities associated with health promotion, educational development and protection of environment.

My Fitness Myntra

I strongly believe in the adage “Health is wealth”, I consider myself an active and fit person. I get up at 05:30 am everyday and go for a morning walk for 40 minutes. Then I do light exercise and Pranayam for 30-40 minutes after that I spend some time with my friends discussing about social issues and current affairs.

In addition to the activities at Lions club. I participate in household chores and sometimes I help my grandchildren in their studies and sports activities. All these activities keep me physically and mentally fit. According to me an active senior citizen is a person who is physically and mentally fit and is contributing positively towards the development of the society.


My Family

My mother who is 96 years old is an inspiration for me and my entire family to lead an active and healthy life. She keeps herself physically fit by engaging in multiple household chores.

My wife has been my biggest support at every stage of life, especially during my struggling days. She is a caring life partner and a good friend who not only supports me in fulfilling my family responsibilities but also actively participates with me in various social and cultural activities of mutual interest. We are blessed to have a caring son and daughter-in-law and two loving grandchildren.


Life Lessons

I believe that life is like a journey, where one needs to keep moving forward and believe that he will achieve his purpose in life by hard work and dedication. While passing various paths, it not only helps us in self realisation but also helps us in understanding and valuing various relationships in our life. 

I still remember one sweet memory of my childhood where once I lied to my father and instead of going to buy a book, I went to our farm and tried climbing mango tree with my friends. While doing that I fell and hurt my arm. As I was scared of my dad, I tried to hide from my parents but the pain was really unbearable and my father came to know about it. Without saying a single word he rushed me to a doctor. That time I realised how beautiful and selfless relations are between parents and children. I still cherish that moment and the sweet memories of my childhood.


My Message

Think positive and always try to help those who are in need. Be honest and polite to others. Don't get too upset when you face tough times similarly don't get very happy for good things and don't let ego dominate you. As Bhagwat Gita says, you are only a witness and a means. Feel grateful that you got an opportunity to do things, don't give credit to yourself.

This Story was originally published on www.seniorexpress.in




Friday, 7 April 2017

A Call A Day Takes Loneliness Away


Today is World Health Day. Every year World Health Organization (WHO) selects a theme around a health topic which is a common concern to people all over the world.This year’s theme is “Depression:Let’s Talk”. According to WHO “depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries.”
This can become an acute problem among senior citizens, especially those who are living alone. Based on my observations and professional experience I strongly agree with WHO that the main cause of depression in senior citizens is loneliness and loss of independence and having simple conversations can make a huge difference. Sharing an informative video by WHO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXZZcdFXTtY&feature=youtu.be
So, this weekend pick up the phone or have a face to face conversation with your parents, grandparents or any other elder family member or friend to make them feel special and appreciated. This simple step will not only control the feeling of loneliness among our elders but will also motivate them to lead a socially and physically active life.

That’s my 18 months old toddler blabbering on the phone and trying to strike a conversation with her grandmother ☺


This article was originally published on Senior Express: http://seniorexpress.in/forums/topic/a-call-a-day-can-take-loneliness-away/

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Mediterranean Diet for Healthy Living




In today’s competitive world where stress and unhealthy food habits have become a part of our lifestyle, following a nutritional diet plan is a must for healthy living of both youngsters and senior citizens.To address this concern many dietitians and researchers are recommending Mediterranean Diet plan for a healthy lifestyle and positive living.

Today’s well known Mediterranean diet plan is based on the dietary traditions of Greece, southern Italy and Spain during the period of 1950s and 1960s when the rates of chronic disease were among the lowest there in the world and life expectancy was highest.

A Mediterranean diet plan includes large quantities of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil. It also emphasizes on regular physical activity and enjoying of meals with family and friends thereby adding social aspect of health as well. Due to its nutritional and healthy values this diet has been found to be associated with reduced risk of heart diseases, certain cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.


So, if you are concerned about your and your family’s healthy then try to follow this holistic diet plan and feel free to share your experiences.

This article is originally written on www.seniorexpress.in

Monday, 3 April 2017

A Walk Friendly Environment is a Must for an Active and Healthy Living


Nothing can make a day more fulfilling than a comfortable walk near one’s home. Walking and running are not only an useful exercises to keep a person physically fit but it also plays an important role in keeping a person mentally relaxed and active.

In today’s world where life has become hectic and stress has become a part of our life, having a walk friendly environment is a must for all generations. A walk friendly environment is the one which has open spaces for walking, jogging and other fitness related activities.It is also near to important destinations like shopping complexes, medical Facilities, Gym, Salon and Places for worship which are an important part of resident’s life and having all this in their neighborhood gives them a peace of mind.

Particularly for senior citizens having a walk friendly environment is a must as it motivates them to walk in their neighbourhood and keep themselves active.A recent study, conducted at the Gerontology Research Center of the University of Jyväskylä,Finland highlighted that walk-friendly environmental design may provide opportunities for physical activity in old age (https://www.jyu.fi/en/news/archive/2017/03/tiedote-2017-03-30-10-22-20-040687). Similar to this in my PhD work an Elder Friendly Environment (which gives ample opportunities to senior to lead a physically and mentally active life) emerged as an important theme for active and healthy ageing.

A walk friendly and an elder friendly environment is a must for promoting healthy living and active ageing in any society. This is the reason why many assisted living facilities, retirement townships and residential complexes are choosing this kind of environmental model so that their residents can enjoy a comfortable stay there.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana for Elderly Belonging to Below Poverty Line Category


Recently, the Government of India has announced the launch of “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana”, a Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior Citizens belonging to BPL category.

Regarding the scheme, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment said that the Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens will be distributed in Camp mode.The devices will help the Senior Citizens to overcome their age related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family.He further added that this is an ambitious Scheme, first of its kind in the country which is expected to benefit 5,20,000 Senior Citizens over a period of 3 years.

The Scheme will be launched in District Nellore, Andhra Pradesh on 1st April, 2017. For more information click here: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=159804

There is no doubt that this is a much needed scheme for promoting the quality of life of BPL elderly who require physical aids and assisted living devices for bringing some ease in their life.I would like to thank the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for introducing such a need based theme. Now the responsibility is on State Governments to do proper publicity of this scheme in their respective state so that the targeted beneficiaries can become aware of this scheme and can also avail this scheme for their benefit.

This post is taken from Senior Express: http://seniorexpress.in/forums/topic/rashtriya-vayoshri-yojana-for-elderly-belonging-to-below-poverty-line-category/

Monday, 27 March 2017

Millennials: Contributing Towards Elder Friendly Society in India


Often millennial generation (people born between early 1980s to early 2000s) is perceived as materialistic and self-centred, however both recent researchers and my personal experiences point out to the contrary. The millennials along with being go-getters are also a socially conscious generation who are not only concerned about senior citizens but are also empathetic towards their needs.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

I Am 73 and Being Active is My Motto in Life


Sharing a snippet from a recent story on Active Ageing on www.seniorexpress.in


People call me James. I am basically from Chennai and have been staying in Hyderabad for a long time. I am 73 years old now and love to lead an active life. I did B.Com and have worked as a Stenographer in many public and private companies. I retired from my job in 2004 but continued to work post retirement. Currently, I am working with ‘Life Circle Senior Services’ which is based in Hyderabad. In terms of age I am the eldest employee there. All my colleagues respect me and my work. I am very thankful to the organization for helping me in leading a productive and dignified life.