State Times NewsSRINAGR: Under the supervision of Chief Justice High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Patron-in-Chief J&K State Legal Services Authority, Gita Mittal and guidance of Executive Chairman J&K SLSA, Justice Rajesh Bindal, SLSA , in association with Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and RRTC Anugraha on Thursday organized an “Online Celebration Programme” on the occasion of “International Day of Older Persons”.The objective of this celebration is to acknowledge and highlight valuable contribution of older generation towards welfare of the society besides the need for addressing their concerns with respect to their rights and overall health specifically during the current COVID- 19 pandemic.The programme was attended by members of Ahaata -e-Waqaars of Jammu, Leh, Srinagar, Kathua and Samba; members of Swabhimaan Parisar, Delhi, members of Old Age Homes of Siman, Meham Rohtak and Haridwar Uttarakhand, members of senior citizen Homes of Yamuna Nagar Haryana and Chopal Himachal Pradesh; Secretaries DLSAs, PLVs, members of NGOs and social activists .Chief Justice, in her address, emphasized the importance of celebrating the Day which reminds us of our duties towards the senior generation and enables us to celebrate their existence on a global platform while taking care of their needs especially in the societies where senior generation is either abandoned or reduced to the status of a side-help at home for working couples. She also focused the attention of the attendees towards a sad evolution in the communities where instances of atrocities on elders is rampant and the consequent importance of robust legislative provisions for taking care of the need of senior citizens viz-a viz their maintenance and other related requirements.She lauded the role of five Ahaata e Wqaar Centres, established within a period of two years in J&K and Ladakh, as places of dignity with recreational and reading facilities, police and legal aid desks, medical facilities, yoga rooms which are ensuring happiness to our senior citizens where they come together under one roof, interact with children and grandchildren, share life experiences, organize birthdays and anniversaries and celebrate life in the process. She also laid stress on identifying special groups among senior generation with special and specific needs.Justice Rajesh Bindal, in his address, described age as just being a number while emphasizing upon change of our mindset while referring to the senior citizens as “old” and instead substituting the term as “experienced”. He also underlined the need of connecting the experienced generation with the younger generation and for fostering the bond between them. He called upon the participants to introspect and develop sensitivity towards the needs and concerns of senior citizens and to adopt the slogan of “Each one Take Care of One”.Rajiv Chandra, Officer at United Nations, read out the message of Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations on the occasion of 30th anniversary of the day, which underlined the importance of addressing age and ageing in the present pandemic times. The message further read that we should make concerted efforts to improve the lives of older persons who constitute sizeable 1.3 billion in Asia- Pacific region, in terms of their physical health and psychosocial and emotional wellbeing of the senior generation.M.K. Sharma, Member-Secretary, J&K State Legal Services Authority, in his Welcome address, described ageing as an inevitable process which is transitioning from ageing with wisdom to Ageing with Dignity. He stressed upon the importance of legislations including “Maintenance & Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007” as effective tool for taking care of maintenance needs and holistic care of senior citizens and establishment of five “Ahaata e Waqaar ” Centres in J&K and Ladakh. He underscored the importance of the day as an apt reaffirmation of our faith that ageing with wisdom must go hand in hand with ageing with dignity and for enhancing our sensitivity to the needs of older people.Dr. Aabha Chaudhary, Chairperson Anugraha, shared the best practices towards “Ageing with dignity” through video presentation, highlighting the positive and productive initiatives and activities by members of “Swabhiman Parisar” Old Age Centre at Delhi and the efforts of RRTC Anugraha in commitment to the cause of “Ageing with Dignity”.Upma Srivastava, Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, in her message, underscored the importance of taking concrete steps to ensure care of older persons enabling them to lead their life with respect and dignity.Meanwhile, a cultural programme “Hum Mein Hai Josh” by members of Ahaata -E -Waqaar’s of J&K and Ladakh and members of old age homes from different states of India was the highlight of the event wherein senior citizens and aged persons made a colorful presentation of their talent and enjoyful moments through songs, dance, poetry, fun games and other activities.Maher Singh, senior citizen and member, Ahaata e Waqaar, Kathua, presented a song, Parvez Manous, member of Ahaata e Waqaar, Srinagar, recited an Urdu Poem, Sita Ram Sapolia, senior citizen and member of Ahaata e Waqaar, Samba, who is also recipient of Sahitya Academy Award, recited a poem in Hindi while Tsewang Nurboo entertained the online audience with a Ladakhi Folk song and Kewal Krishan Wadhera, social worker and member of Ahaata-e- Waqaar, Jammu presented a song.Rajeev Gupta, Director J&K Judicial Academy moderated the programme.
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