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non-governmental organization HelpAge India working for disadvantaged elders

As the country slowly steps towards some form of normalcy amidst the pandemic, this Diwali, non-governmental organization HelpAge India working for disadvantaged elders, celebrates the festival of lights with a message of hope and togetherness through its campaign and film, 'Andhero Se Roshini Tak.

In a marathon celebration, HelpAge marks the festival across 100 old age homes across the country, bringing happiness, hope and joy to senior citizens, many of who were suffering from isolation, loneliness and a sense of abandonment during the pandemic. The campaign aims to bring them back into the fold and give them a ray of hope and support them.

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The campaign highlights the impact of the pandemic on India's elders vis a vis their health, livelihood and the pervading sense of loneliness and feeling of being forgotten by their own, as social distancing, led to social isolation for many of our elders who were left to fend for themselves.

According to a survey done by HelpAge earlier this year, 36 percent elders at home in India 'were just waiting for the phone to ring'. During the first lockdown, 65 percent of elders lost their only source of livelihood, leaving them with no resources for medicines and no one to reach out to.

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An increasing number of Keralite NRIs wish to provide their aged parents with near-luxury living. For the same, several privately owned old-age homes are now coming up in the state. Wikimedia
  • With elderly people making 12.6% of the population, old age homes are now coming up in Kerala
  • Kerala is witnessing an increasing demand of privately owned old age homes with state-of-the-art facilities
  • Modern old-age-homes claim to charge minimal fees and provide all necessary services to residents

Kerala, August 29, 2017: Old age homes for the cash-rich have been around in some Indian cities for quite a while, but the concept has only now arrived in Kerala, a state where those over 60 make up 12.6 per cent of the population. The national average is 8.6 per cent.

Even though the state has around 50 old age homes with bare minimum facilities run by various charitable organisations, the demand for state-of-the-art retirement homes appears to be driven by non-resident Keralites who want to ensure that their aged parents lead a stress-free life, as they wait in the departure lounge for their final journey.

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