September 23, 2013

The Elderly - An Insight (playlist)

Agewell Foundation's Symposium

(In Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC at United Nations since 2011)
In association with UN DPI


New Delhi: Agewell Foundation, an NGO dedicated towards the welfare and empowerment of Older Persons across the country has successfully organized yet another symposium titled as “Needs & Rights of Older Persons” under the series of Symposiums on Needs & Rights of Older Persons on 20th September 2013 at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Center, New Delhi.

During the Symposiums Special focus was on hearing related problems and requirements in Old Age. While many of us are concerned about health, not many are worried or aware about ‘hearing’. That is taken for granted. However, as we grow older, our hearing is also affected along with other medical conditions that may arise. In India where population of old people is growing at a very fast pace the problem is further magnified.

Representatives from every walk of society including well-known Audiologist Ms. Olga Kerczynska of Amplifon India and Dr. (Major) R K Bhardwaj, renowned ENT Specialistparticipated in the session and shared their views on the subject. Ms. Olga discussed problems caused due to hearing loss in old age, suggested solutions and encouraged older persons to remain aware and cautious about hearing related issues. On the occasion, Ms. Olga Kerczynska of Amplifon India also interacted with the participants and offered them valuable suggestions pertaining to hearing loss. She further appealed to the younger generation to take care of their elders’ hearing loss problems so that they can enjoy hearing throughout their life. 

Other major Old Age related problems like anxiety, loneliness, etc. were discussed during the Symposium-cum-Interactive Session.  Mr. Himanshu Rath of Agewell Foundation said on the occasion. “The elderly love to share their experience, knowledge and love to learn and adapt with the fast changing world all around them. If in this process, they are unable to receive communication due to hearing loss, it becomes very difficult for them to cope with everyday life.”

Agewell has created this platform for the welfare of the aged in particular and society in general to correct the state of affairs and educate the society along with various institutions serving them to be more compassionate and also in the process inform the young generation of impending problems which they may have to face when they reach the dusk of their life.

Agewell Foundation, India is a not-for-profit NGO which has been working for the welfare and empowerment of older persons since 1999. Agewell has set up a two-tier network of over 7000 primary and 80000 secondary volunteers spread across 620 districts of India and interacts with over 25000 older persons on daily basis through its volunteers’ network. Recognizing the work being done by Agewell Foundation ECOSOC has granted Special Consultative Status to Agewell Foundation at  United  Nations.  Agewell has also been member of Working Group and Steering Committee on Social Sector for Xth, XIth and now the XIIth Five-Year-Plan of Planning Commission of India since 2002.

For more information please visit our website:  

September 21, 2013

Impact of the Agewell Foundation’s initiative

(In Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC at United Nations since 2011)
In association with UN DPI

Impact of the Agewell Foundation’s initiative:
Issues Concerning Old Age included in Corporate Social Responsibility Provisions

Realizing the greater disparity in social sector, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India has come up with ambitious mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility provisions for corporate world. While going through these provisions, We at Agewell Foundation found that in well-crafted recommendations to the corporates for CSR provisions, while all other important issues are included, the aspect of old age has somehow not been touched upon by the Ministry. With no mention of issues concerning Old Age in CSR provisions, all initiatives to assist old people could once again remain without patronage & support from the corporate world.

Indeed, the Ministry had completely ignored the ever growing population of older people, which has already crossed 100 million mark in India and constitute almost 8.5% of the total population of our country. Life span of older persons has also increased remarkably over the past decades. Life expectancy at the age of 60 has increased upto 20 years.

 The cut throat competitiveness in today’s human life, nuclear lifestyle and longer life span in old age has made older people most vulnerable, deprived and isolated like other disadvantaged sections of the society. They also need support mechanisms in the form of Helplines, Voluntary Assistance, Interaction Cetnres, Old Age Homes, Health and Legal services, Skill Development Training, Opportunities for second career after retirement, Healthcare Givers, Advocacy services along with continuous research about their needs & rights.

In view of this, Agewell Foundation submitted a representation to the Hon’ble Minister for Corporate Affairs Shri Sachin Pilot and requested him to review the emerging ground realities of old people and include issues concerning old age in mandatory CSR provisions set for corporate world. (Copy of the letter is enclosed)

Taking further its intervention to advocate for Needs & Rights of Older Persons, Agewell Foundation has also raised this issue with various channels of media successfully. (Representative newspaper clippings are attached.) 

With repeated follow up and persistent efforts, finally Hon’ble Minister for Corporate Affairs Shri Sachin Pilot the concerned authorities at the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has decided to include issues concerning old age in the CSR Bill. (Report appeared in the Hindustan Times on 21-9-2013 enclosed.)

At this occasion, Mr. Himanshu Rath, Chairman of Agewell Foundation said, “Indeed its a welcome step taken by Hon’ble Minister for Corporate Affairs Shri Sachin Pilot. It will certainly help the initiatives taken for the welfare and empowerment of old people across the country by the non government organizations.”

Media Reports about Agewell Foundation's latest activity

Representation sent to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, for inclusion of Issues Concerning Old Age in new CSR Provisions 

Impact of Agewell Foundation's representation 

Hindustan Times, 21 September, 2013

News published in the Hindu on 18th September 2013

News published in the Hindustan Times on 17 September 2013

September 10, 2013

Agewell Foundation's Symposium on Needs & Rights of Older Persons

Under the Series of Symposiums on Needs & Rights of Older Persons
At Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi
on 20th September, 2013 (6:30 p.m. onwards)