SeniorWorld Awards on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons

 - Sakshi Post

Ageing is a diverse and multifaceted experience that is unique to each person. Positive Ageing, a concept adopted by SeniorWorld, is all about making the most of the benefits of being old and keeping a good attitude towards life. It is about keeping a positive growth mindset throughout older age just like any other phase of life. 

‘International Day of Older Persons’ provides an opportunity to recognise the contribution, wisdom, dignity and needs of our senior citizens all around the world. The day is celebrated annually on 1st October. In a distinctive initiative, SeniorWorld organised an award ceremony to honour and show gratitude for the immense contribution made by the ageing population of India. Nominations from senior citizens were invited in the month of July 2022 for sharing their work in various categories like Serving the underprivileged, Education, Tribal upliftment, Health care, Environment , Sports & Fitness, Entrepreneur at 60+ and Social media influencer at 60+. 

An overwhelming response was received from all four corners of the country and it made our belief stronger that old age is to be celebrated and nothing can stop a willing heart to sit back idly. The company dedicated its efforts to go through the nominations diligently with the help of a jury panel. Nominations were shortlisted through a stringent

filtering process. Video calls were made to the selected few to understand the contribution in detail and the reason behind the motivation to serve at an age when the stereotypical barriers can pose as an obstruction. 

The zeal and devotion exhibited by the seniors is infectious. We were humbled by the simplicity and dedication of each one of them. Yes, there are challenges and problems of all kinds that plague the society but it is the efforts of such people that goodness prevails and faith in humanity remains intact. The thoughtfulness of Colonel Karaminder Singh from Patiala behind working for the underprivileged people is a lesson for all. An ex Army man, he took early retirement to join hands with his father for philanthropic work to uplift the refugees from Pakistan. He continues his efforts in the field of education for the deaf, blind and specially-abled. 67 year old Mr.Hari Vishnoi from Meerut, after his retirement as Regional Public Officer from the State Government started a club named CLUB 60 after getting inspired by a movie of the same name. The devoted club members are focussed on environment protection, free education and welfare of the society through an organisation called Shiksha Setu.The ability to live independently and become self-sufficient along with pursuing passions like running, walking, painting, sculpting, cooking, writing, singing, dancing,spreading awareness, conserving the environment and many more is empowering the seniors in the truest sense. Inspiring others to let bygones be bygones, eminent sculptor Ganesh Sharma from Hiranagar, Jammu continues to win awards and accolades on national and international level for promoting art of stone sculptures. In an unfortunate accident many years back, Sharma was left immobile and bed-stricken for a few years. But his undying spirit did not deter him to pursue his passion and be a winner at it. The journey of Dinesh Mohan has been phenomenally inspirational as he turned his worst phase of life into a living dream. He not only transformed his life by adopting a healthy lifestyle but became a fashion model at the age of 60. Every thought is a seed to a good harvest if planted with good intention and the right effort. Jadugar Pee Cee Kanpuri, 66 from Kanpur used his skill of magic in an exceptional way especially during the pandemic years of Covid-19 by doing magic shows online and fundraising to feed the needy. He is actively involved in spreading awareness about social evils like ‘beti bachao, tree plantation and dowry deaths’. 65 year old Prakash Bhat from Dharwad, Karnataka is a firm believer of the Gandhian philosophy of integrated development of rural communities. He has been instrumental in uplifting 6000 families by promoting his belief of ‘putting people in the centre’. The community was able to design 80 plus activities for themselves to improve their earning potential as well as living conditions. 

This year's theme of International day for older persons is “The Resilience and Contributions of Older Women”. An apt theme as through the SeniorWorld nominations, we came across many women who have defied the concept of old age.

Sheela Bajaj, a 78-year-old from Delhi, rekindled her passion for crochet during the lockdown and turned it into a business through Instagram and now has over 45,000 followers. She says, “The boredom just made me feel low and I had lost all hopes.” Encouraged by her granddaughter Yukti, the duo launched their crochet business in November 2020. Sheela makes a wide range of crocheted products like sweaters, accessories, earrings, pouches, toys, and home decor items. The effervescent Renu Mathur from Panchkula, at the age of 60 continues to work as a grief counselor for rape and acid attack survivors. Padma Shri Dr. Leela Joshi, gynaecologist and social worker from Ratlam, is doing extensive work for tribal upliftment and anaemic teenage girls' health and betterment. She is also known as Mother Teresa of Madhya Pradesh. A green world is the best gift that one generation can give to the other. And that’s the motto of 61 year old Sunita Raheja from Hisar who is committed to work for waste management using the three R’s - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. She believes that creating urban jungles in the midst of concrete is a better way to have the much desired green cover. 

Words and pages may fall short to describe the countless areas where seniors are ready to face challenges but not step back from doing the good with unfailing faith and sincerity. They are and remain truly inspiring for all of us. The co-founder of SeniorWorld MP Deepu encourages everyone to stay connected with older adults to promote their health and well-being and enable them by ways and means to live a self-reliant life. 

The SeniorWorld award is just a doorway to a powerhouse created by the senior community across the country. The ageing population is growing in numbers and they are surely creating a path of opportunities for the Gen-Z to follow.

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