In the Series of Needs & Rights of Older Persons
Wednesday, the 24th June, 2009
Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

Guest of Honour:
Dr. Karan Singh, President, ICCR

Other Key Speakers :

Pt. Birju Maharaj, Wel-known exponent of Kathak
Capt. M S Kohli, Himalayan Environment Trust
Mr. Anand Bordia, Retires Senior Bureaucrat

Agewell Foundation, an NGO dedicated towards the welfare of Older Persons across the country, today conducted its 18th symposium under the series of "Needs & Rights of Older Persons" titled ‘Older Persons: Custodians of Heritage, Culture and Tradition’ at IHC. Agewell Foundation is about understanding needs of older persons, providing advocacy for their rights and sensitizing every one about Old Age.

Leading the Symposium were eminent personalities like Dr Karan Singh, President, ICCR as the guest of honour and Pandit Birju Maharaj, well-known exponent of Kathak & Capt. M S Kohli, Himalayan Environment Trust as key speakers. The series of Symposiums urges everybody to support and take forward Agewell’s initiative of educating the Older persons about their rights & needs and reminding the younger generation, the concerned persons, government officials, bodies, institutions and others of their duties towards their elders.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Karan Singh said, “Despite of our great respect towards our cultural heritage, tradition and arts, our cultural heritage is on the verge of collapse. Our younger generation is much impressed by western lifestyle and gradually forgetting its traditional value systems. We need to resurrect our traditional value system and encourage our great cultural heritage at all levels. Initiatives like change and reform in our educational system, increased role of concerned organizations in this regard, etc. can certainly make a difference. Older persons are undoubtedly custodians of our heritage, culture and tradition. We need to bridge the gap between generations in order to conserve, preserve and develop our cultural heritage, traditions and arts.”

Pandit Birju Maharaj, another distinguished guest present at the symposium also expressed his concerns about diminishing value system and Indian cultural heritage and traditions. He said that it has become major challenge before all of us as how to protect great Indian cultural heritage, traditions, arts & crafts. Capt. M S Kohli of Himalayan Environment Trust also shared his views on the subject and suggested a few tips to Older Persons on how to live their lives gracefully and respectfully.

During interactive session all the distinguished guests and participants from all walks of life appreciated the initiatives taken by Agewell Foundation in this direction. Talking on the occasion, Mr. Himanshu Rath, Chairman, Agewell Foundation said, “Our cultural heritage and traditions, which have been developed over the centuries and transferred one generation to another are today struggling to survive due to changed socio-economic scenario and fast changing value system. Older persons are our cultural ambassadors in true sense. If more is not done to raise visibility and relevance of older persons they run the risk of disappearing from national consciousness. Agewell is therefore emphasizing the need of utilizing life time accumulated traditional cultural knowledge skill and experience of Older Persons for social issues of to-day and thus enabling Older Persons to become visible and relevant to family/society.”

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