Screening of Social Short ‘Poonam’ followed by Panel Discussion of Elderly Care

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New Delhi, 3rd July. Charista Foundation caters to the psychological needs of the elderly to bring them out of loneliness and isolation and make them an active, living part of the society using their experience and intellect. The team at Chartista Foundation has been on a spree screening their in house production, a social short ‘Poonam’ to various audiences in Delhi to sensitize the, audiences and create an awareness towards the need for psychological care of the elderly.

It was screened at the Foreign Correspondents Club of South Asia in Delhi last evening 2nd July followed by a panel discussion moderated by Rijuta Gupta, a published author, environmental engineer and a gold medalist. The panelists were Brig. Chandra Mukesh (Retd.) a Management Guru, Dr. Amit Nagpal a Business Story Teller and a bestselling author, Maneesha Sharma Social Impact Leader, Speaker and Influencer, and the youngest was Radhika Atul Abrol a Socio-political activist.

The event was attended by an august gathering consisting of attendees from various walks of life and members of FCC as well as the media fraternity. The event began with Shilpi Das Chohan, Founding Trustee – Charista Foundation addressing the audience about the inspiration behind the social short and the purpose of screening as a pan-India campaign towards spreading the message of loneliness – the silent killer in elderly life.

The film was well received by the audience and sparked a brainstorming session that lasted for more than the stipulated time. Onkareshwar Pandey, a senior journalist and Chairman – Observer Global Media Group brought up the concern around the intellectual health of the seniors who retire after about more than three decades of service and suddenly find it hard accepting themselves in that phase of life. He questioned about having policies that would give the society the scope to utilize the intellectual capacity of such seniors. Super-active Brig. Mukesh who turned 69 yesterday pointed out that it is important for the seniors to also hone their skills and stay relevant in the society at any given point of time.

On the other hand FCC member Ratnajyoti chipped in with the idea of creating awareness around the national policies for the elderly. Panelist Maneesha Sharma agreed to his suggestion and said that such awareness campaigns should be conducted at all levels. She was quite upfront in pointing out the stark truth that very rarely does any corporate body invest their CSR funds on old age of elderly care issues. It was deduced that by both that there should be a dedicated commission for the elderly like the national women commission and national childrights commission. Dr. Amit Nagpal added to this aspect by saying, “Corporates don’t spend on elderly care, but if someone sells them this idea well then there’s a possibility of generating their interest in this direction.” The moderator Rijuta Gupta agreed that the corporates need to be woken up. Shilpi Das Chohan – Founding Trustee, Charista Foundation summed up by saying, “We want to make caring for the elderly a fashionable cause for the corporates to chip in through CSR.”

Senior Journalist Biswadeep shared how the Assam government has enforced a strict law upon children to support their elderly parents financially. He raised a question about what wrong did the parents do for the society to come to this stage of enforcing such laws. To this Supreme Court Lawyer Abha Maryada Bhatt presented her point that the parents weren’t prepared for their elderly life. She emphasized that everyone should prepare themselves for this inevitable phase.

The most senior member in the audience was K. N. Gupta, a senior journalist who still keeps himself occupied with editing assignments for news agency PIO-TV. He highlighted about being practical and implement ideas like putting in place senior citizen activities centre at community levels just like the one he initiated in Gulmohar Park Residents’ Colony in New Delhi.

The session was concluded by Muneesh Gupta, President – FCC by stating we ought to deal with our parents the way they dealt with us when we were children. He said it’s all about the commitment towards giving back. Despite the problems and issues in the society, we need to deal with the situation as a whole. He proudly said, “If anyone can lead the world by example in terms of taking care of the elderly, it’s our country that’s done it for years and we must contribute towards the change in making the lives of elderly better.”

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