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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Today is Elders' Day

 Dear (s)

The great Thiruvalluvar   is a clear visionary and has dwelt with all aspects of life.  In Adhikaram 45 he extols the virtue of seeking the aid of old and wise men.  Kural 443 says :

‘to cherish greatmen and make them his own, is the most difficult of all difficult things.  A King who has this treasure would sure succeed’.

Heard a new definition to the word ‘pica’.  Pica is a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive (e.g.,  clay, coal, sand, soil,  chalk, pencils leads, paper, etc.,)   Pica reportedly is seen particularly in small children and in pregnant women.  This morning, a Doctor who spoke in a Forum said that many Doctors confront patients with this ‘new pica’ syndrome.  It is  “Parents in India – Children in America” Syndrome .. otherwise parents left in wilderness though mostly taken care of monetarily !!

In keeping with the modern tradition of Western World in naming days, today is ‘World Elders Day’.  In a Culture which teaches the virtues of living together (joint family) and seeking the blessings of elders always, perhaps – just a day to commemorate is meaningless.

Crazy Mohan in his inimitable style said that ‘some are proud of living together with their spouse for more than 15 years’ – true – even in Tamilnadu, you don’t get to hear many joint families. The concept of living together is fast dwindling…..  in the heart of the city of Chennai there are old age homes where some lead a lonely life resigning to their fate.  Few decades back, men went to work, retired peacefully and lived happily thereafter with their families taking rest, fondly nurturing their grand children. Those were the days, when old people were treated as men of wisdom and their advices were listened to carefully; not any longer.   Now there is a growing market targetting the senior citizens, as they have money but none to take care of.   If this is the tale of affluent old people, the plight of those with not much money can well be imagined.

Ageing is inevitable and everybody grows old without any effort on their part – it is the duty of the modern generation to treat the elders with respect and ensure that they spend their days peacefully with good access to medical treatment, healthy hygiene and good food.   

Novartis has been raising awareness of health issues concerning elderly as more are becoming prone to disorders like dementia and Alzheimer.  They have been organizing World Elder’s Awareness Day on 1st Oct  every year.  This year they organized a Walk at Gandhi Beach, Chennai bringing together various other organizations and eminent personalities including S Ve Shekhar, Crazy Mohan, Dr S Nambi.   They had invited some Organisations and Srinivas Youngmens Association (SYMA) was also represented.

We at SYMA (Srinivas Youngmens’ Association) in association with Lions Club of South Madras & Novartis – are conducting a “Free Health Check up Camp”  tomorrow (2nd October 2011) at   NKT National Boys High School, T.P.Koil Street, Triplicane, Chennai 600 005.  The high points of the Camp  would be : a)  Checking up of blood sugar levels with Diabetic consultation b) Early Detection of Dementia & c)  Screening and awareness of Eye related ailments.   You are specially invited for the Camp.  Please do tell your friends and needy about the Camp.
An elderly (supremely fit} person daily seen near Gandhi Beach

Here are some Qs to ponder (on how close and how well you treat elders)

ü      Are you living in a joint family or at least know that one existed not too long ago !!
ü      Do you know the brothers and sisters (and their family members) of your Father ?
ü      Do you know the brothers and sisters (and their family members) of your Mother ?
ü      How often you visit them (have you seen them in the recent one year ?)
ü      Can you remember the names and recall some details of your Paternal Grandfather & Grandmother ?
ü      Can you remember the names and recall some details of your Materna  Grandfather & Grandmother ?
ü      Do you know the names of the Father and Mother of your Grand Father / Grand mother
ü      Have you ever been to an old age home ?
ü      How often you talk to elders in your Apartment / Street / locality
ü      Can you claim to know at least 15 such persons ?  (other than your blood relatives)
ü      Do you listen to them when any such person talks to you on street or elsewhere !!
ü      Are you in the habit of paying obeisance to elders when you see them !
ü      Would you readily render a physical help if you come across an elderly person requiring urgent attention on road ?
ü      Are your children in the habit of prostrating before elders (have you instructed them to do so) !!!!

It is a self test and by answering them, you know where actually you stand in the Society and that in some way reflects how we are likely to be treated when we turn old……………..

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.

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