Mangaluru, Oct 22: A free screening of the Hindi movie 'Chak De India,' was held for senior citizens at the Adlabs Multiplex in the city on Tuesday Oct 21. The event was organized by AGE (Action Group for Elderly) Mangalore, a social initiative promoted by a local NGO group, in association with Adlabs/Reliance group.
About 150 inmates of seven institutions—Little Sisters of the Poor, St Anne's, St Anthony's Home for the Aged, Prashant Nivas, Abhaya Ashram, Girdhar Ashram, and Vishwas—were taken by bus, sponsored by a philanthropist, for the movie accompanied by 100 members of the AGE group.
After the screening, a beaming 83-year-old Sanjiva Shetty declared, 'Baari kushi aandoo' (I am very happy). 'It was a well-organized show. I want to give a big thanks to the organizers for giving us a good time worth remembering,' said C F D'Couto, another senior citizen. M Raghavan, president, AGE Mangalore, speaking to Daijiworld said, "We thank the management of Adlabs multiplex, especially Sudha and Bala Shetty, for screening this film free exclusively for the benefit of senior citizens. I am especially happy for the old age home inmates for whom a day out from the regulated confines of their homes has been made possible. Ultimately, our aim is to make them happy, within our own limitations."
AGE Mangalore began as a day care centre in 1994, pioneered by Dr Bansal. It was then known as 'Ashraya,' and today functions independently in KMC headed by Dr Prabha Adhikari. Members of AGE are also part of Ashraya, engaged in social work for the aged by conducting form of yoga, and exercise sessions. They also have a geriatric ward at KMC. The concept of providing entertainment for the elderly in this manner began two years ago, an idea mooted by Shamim Kunil, a former president of AGE.
AGE has its office at 'Sahodaya,' opposite Balmatta grounds. The organization conducts activities for inmates of old age homes on October 1, which happens to be World Elders Day. The inmates participate in skits, dance, drama, and singing. AGE has been conducting and sponsoring such activities for the past 12 years, according to Shamim.
She also said that a new concept of visiting old age homes, talking to inmates, conducting games, and providing snacks, has also been introduced recently by the organization. Sudharsini, a member of AGE also takes the inmates to A B Shetty College – KSHEMA at Derlakatte, for health checkups, once a week.
AGE Mangalore is largely funded by well-wishers, Rotary Club, and Inner Wheel Club. It has a hundred members, all aged above 60. An AGE lifetime membership can also be availed with a payment of Rs 200 and a senior citizen card is also provided. For senior citizens not affiliated to any old age homes, there is another group called Vishwas Trust (also associated with AGE, Mangalore) which has a helpline number—1090—managed by the city police department at Pandeshwar. In case of any difficulties faced by the elderly, Vishwas sends its volunteers to provide assistance.