Mangaluru: Selfies Galore at the ‘Bond With An Elder’ Kick Off at City Centre Mall

Mangaluru: The campaign “Bond With An Elder” was launched on the 3rd October 2015 at the City Centre Mall-the Campaign will try to elicit firm commitment to senior citizens in our neighbourhoods. The Campaign is aimed in convincing people to step forward and take responsibility of one elderly in their locality by spending time and engaging in activities on a regular basis. Events where the elderly and the younger bond, and where organisations commit to issues that affect the elderly will then take forward this coming together in different locations in Mangalore, all culminating on UN Day, the 24th of October. Beyond the Campaign period of 3rd to 24th October 2015 the “Bond with an Elder” Movement will continue. “Bond With An Elder” is a initiative of Vishwas Trust for the Elderly People, launched along with Rotary Club of Mangalore.

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The campaign kicked off with a flash mob performed by the students of St Aloysius College, followed by a street play performances by the students of Roshni Nilaya School of Social Work to promote the theme of “Bond with an Elder”. The campaign publicity designs were done by a team of nineteen second year post graduate students of Department of Mass Communication, St Aloysius College, who have been collectively working on the designing and media element for days. In the later days during the campaign, Students of St Aloysius College will execute Flash mob sequences in places where Mangaloreans congregate in the evenings to introduce the campaign to citizens. Meanwhile, students of the MSW from the School of the Social Work, Roshni Nilaya will campaign across the city throughout the duration of the campaign through street play performances on being more sensitive to the needs of the elderly in our homes, neighbourhoods and the city in general.

In today’s civilized social structure, it is disturbing to see a trend of senior citizens being deprived of their comforts, particularly by children being indifferent to their aged parents at a time when the parents need parental care most. The particular challenge for adults over 50 plus is the sheer number of changes and transitions that start to occur—including children moving away, the loss of parents, friends, and other loved ones, changes to or the end of their career, declining health, and even loss of independence. It’s natural to feel those losses. Unfortunately, for many, aging brings anxiety and fear instead. Many old age people need company of friends to talk to, share their views and news- and the Street Play by Roshini Nilaya students brought an awareness tall these issues faced by the Seniors. The flash mob and the Street play received a thunderous applaud from crowd gathered from the top floor to the bottom floor of the Mall. The band “Crossroads” from St Aloysius College comprising of Shabari Shanker, Hisham Hassan, Melric D’Souza, Sachin and Preetham also rocked the scene with their melodious songs. Flexcia and VJ Nitin from SAC compered the event.

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Nonagenarian Dr Olinda Pereira – Founder of Vishwas Trust for the Elderly, and also the Founder Principle of Roshini Nilaya of Social Work – said, “Through its experience with working with the Elderly since 1999, Vishwas Trust firmly believes that a smart city needs to commit itself to the needs of its growing numbers of Senior Citizens. While our City is moving forward in becoming a Smart City it is also imperative that there are initiatives to make it Smart for the elderly persons too. While it well known that frequent, stimulating social interaction helps to prevent older individuals from becoming depressed and developing additional health issues”.

Dr Pereira further said, “Rather than expressing our appreciation to the elderly only one day a year on their birthday or on World Elders Day, we believe that we as individuals could go further and make a more meaningful supportive gesture by committing to their well being in a more lasting manner. This could consist quite simply of a regular Hello, an occasional chat, a leisurely evening walk, shared tea or a board game, replacement of a fused bulb, picking up of medicines, accompanying them to the bank or for medical checkups and the like. We will also work with groups, organisations and the administration to get everyone in Mangalore to be more sensitive to the well being of the elderly. We need to see that we care for the elders in the family, our neighbour elder or any seniors in the community. Together we can put a smile on the faces of these neglected elders and also bring happiness to them through our bonding and interaction with them”.

As part of the campaign, an online photography contest titled “#GrandSelfie” is also simultaneously going on. There were quite a few youth, both boys and girls taking selfies with the elderly folks who were present during the launching of “Bond With an Elder”. Interested participants are asked to send in selfies with their grandparents or a neighbour elder to promote the bond they share. TheGrand Selfie with the maximum likes on Facebook and the Best Grand Selfies will be awarded prizes sponsored by Merger Soda. For more details Contact – 9845323869, 9449035570.

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In conclusion, this is a very good initiative by Vishwas Trust in collaboration with Rotary Club of Mangalore to introduce “Bond With an Elder” campaign, to care for the elderly when they need assistance, do some errands for them, handle abusive treatment and so on. Vishwas Trust workers and volunteers alone can’t handle all these issues, so the help and cooperation of the public is solicited towards this project. It’s very sad to note that these days children leave their elderly parents back home and go abroad on jobs, some other decide to put their old parents in ashram or home for the aged. But when parents are on their last stage of their lives, children come running and begging for their parents wealth and property”.

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“Parents need to be cared all the time- it was them who gave you birth, brought you up and cared for you- and in reciprocation you need also to take care and love them during their old age. I am glad that Vishwas Trust has come up with this campaign, which will help the elders in time of their needs, give them peace of mind and keep them happy by our interaction/bonding with them. Senior citizens want someone to listen to them. How to help? One should first create awareness by meeting needy, people like in your social circle. Tell others how one can get help. Communicate and interact with those elders who are suffering from diseases like Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Dementia etc. To tell its not the end of your life, yet there is tomorrow. Live today for you and for others. Let’s all make a difference in the lives of these elders who are anxiously looking forward for someone to talk to them, mingle with them and have some fun with them. Yes, we can do it, if we all make up our minds to share and care for the elders.”

Connect with Bond with an Elder at: Ph 91-9632890101

www.facebook.com/bondwithanelder; www.twitter.com/bondwithanelder; www.bondwithanelder.blogspot.com; bondwithanelder@gmail.com

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