Mangalore, September 19: A ‘Mobilization meeting with Elders’ at St Antony’s Home for the Poor in Valencia was organised by Help-Age India in collaboration with Vishwas Trust and Dr Olinda Pereira launched the ‘Neighbourhood Group Project’ on Friday September 19th,in Mangalore.
Inaugurating the project which involved the formation of a neighbourhood group in the city to address the needs of the elderly and provide them much-needed emotional support, Dr Olinda Pereira, director of Vishwas Trust, said that the elderly were less capable of movement due to their age and also less capable of seeking help and having their needs answered.
She added that, “The launch of the neighbourhood project is one of the dreams of Vishwas Trust. Noting the loneliness of most of the elderly with concern, this kind of help is required for the well-being of the elderly, who mostly need reassurance and a sympathetic hand. Since there is need for a concerned neighbourhood and concerned neighbourliness among people to address the problems of the elderly, the neighbourhood project, which promotes networking among families and the elderly, is a small change in this direction”.
Fr Oneil D’Souza, director of St Antony Home said that the elderly do not get respect in the society because the generation has changed. “When a machine stops working, the machine will be given to the scrap shop; it is the same with humans. When a person becomes old, he/she is cornered or is brought to the orphanage” he said.
“A person tries to grab whatever he gets it from another person and when this person does not have anything much to entertain, he will be left alone” he said. He also wished that a man should be born old and die young.
Prakash, a representative with HelpAge India addressed the gathering and said, “There should be networking and groups in the neighbourhood to create bonds between community and neighbours in the society, which are important in meeting the needs and problems of the elderly. Most of them merely require reassurance, a helping hand or a sympathetic ear, which can be brought through individuals as part of promoting neighbourliness and neighbourhood groups.”
Also he briefed that an informal survey would be done in the city to identify problems faced by the elderly in the neighbourhood.
During the launch of the project, Suresh Shetty, social worker and many others were present.