Value education in schools to sensitise students on elderly

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Kolkata, Nov 15 (UNI) With the aim to inculcate in the young the values of love and respect for the elderly, HelpAge India has taken an initiative to introduce 'Value Education on Age Care' in schools throughout the country.

Speaking at a seminar here today to identify and resolve problems faced by India's 90 million graying population, Susmita Ghose, National Director, HelpAge India, said, ''Our organisation is seeking the government's support to formulate policies to incorporate value education as a part of the school curriculum. The deliberations and suggestions that came out of the seminar would be submitted to the government.'' The Kolkata round of the seminar was attended by principals and representatives of 30 leading schools of the city, including Delhi Public Scool, Patha Bhavan, Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan, Bidya Bharati School, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and others.

''Currently, there are 90 million people above 60 years in India which is projected to increase to 100 million by 2013. Projections beyond 2016 made by the United Nations has indicated that India will have 198 million 60-plus persons by 2030,'' Mr Kapil Kaul, Country Head-Resource Mobilisation, said.

The prime objective of the Value Education programme is to bring children closer to the elderly by tapping the vast network of schools and teachers in India and to inform, educate and sensitise the children to develop positive attitude towards the elderly by incorporating values in the regular school curriculum, he informed.

Lack of adequate and no support from the children has been identified as the major reason for the elderly staying alone in urban India, he added.

''The foundation of a healthy and enriching old age can be laid in childhood only so that children not only understand their role for the aged but also prepare themselves for the challenges of eventual self-aging in future.

'Life-Span Education' as part of the school curricula would go a long way to achieve respect and responsibility for elderly,'' Mr Kaul said.

UNI DPM KK/src1619

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