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An ode to our senior citizens

Last updated: 01 October, 2009
S Lalitha, Oct 2, Bangalore: 23:24 IST

Senior citizens need not be a burden that a grudging society has to bear. On the contrary, by channelising their maturity, experience and time towards vital social issues, elders can lighten many burdens carried by the society.

FELICITATION: Lalitha Ubhayankar, Founder-Trustee, Ashvasan Foundation, presenting a memento to Sadiqa Peerbhoy, Director, MAA Group, at the World Elders’ Day programme organised by the Ashvasan Foundation at the Rotary House of Friendship in Bangalore on Thursday. Treasurer U Bhaskar Rao is also seen. DH PHOTO
On World Elders’ Day, celebrated on Thursday, it was time to salute these senior citizens spread across different parts of the City, who have emerged ideal role models due to their commitment to improve society’s lot.

Eighty-five year-old retired Admiral O S Dawson, based in Richard Town, is one such altruist. After a 42-year stint in the Navy, and serving as Indian High Commissioner at New Zealand, Dawson took over as president of ‘Anga Karunya Kendra’, based in Whitefield. “It was the dying wish of a friend I just could not turn down.”
Today, countless disabled individuals from impoverished sections are able to walk, thanks to the artificial limbs provided by the Kendra, free of cost.
“Everyday, eight to ten people from different parts of South India approach us for assistance and we never turn them down,” the admiral said. Helping them in their noble work is Wockhardt Foundation, philanthropists and ‘piecemeal support’ extended by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Labour of love
Dr Rupande Padanki (64) strongly believes that “seniors can do quite a lot for others. All that is needed is to direct them into causes that are necessary.” This honorary volunteer at the Association for the Mentally Challenged is passionate in her zeal to raise funds for the cerebrally-challenged children in the organisation.

Suresh Moona, Director of the organisation ‘Aarambh’ follows a path less trodden. For nearly 25 years, this biology teacher at Acharya Pathshala High School in N R Colony, has travelled around schools, colleges and star hotels lecturing on the history of the great history and tradition of Bangalore, his consuming passion.

“One may be successful in any profession but without love for one’s land, he or she cannot be a good citizen,” is his guiding motto. It has been pure “labour of love” for this individual who is just at the doorstep of the senior citizen category.
Nonagenarian K M George, president of Senior Citizens’ Club, 81-year-old Father Terry who takes charge of youth in the Rotary, the late Dr Padma Rao, mother of Principal Energy Secretary Jairaj, who passed away on Tuesday...the list of super seniors is long.

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