World Elders’ Day: The Journey to Age Equality

World Elders' DayThe Forum for Senior Citizens Tarnaka (FSCT), observed the World Elders’ Day on October 2nd,  coinciding  with Gandhi Jayanthi. The programme was held at the Nagarjuna Nagar Community Hall, Tarnaka.

Professor K Venugopala Reddy, President Nagarjunanagar Welfare Association  welcomed the gathering, while Shri Om Prakash, general secretary, FESCO spoke on the significance of World Elders' Day. Prof. VLS Bhimasankaram spoke on the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi's teachings while retired IAEA scientist, professor GVSRK Somayajuly spoke on the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi.  Several senior citizens were also felicitated on the occasion. Dr K Srirama Murty, President FSCT delivered the vote of thanks.

The Background,

The United Nations earmarked October 1 as the International Day of the Older Persons to highlight the important contributions of older people at large and raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges of ageing in today's world.

The UN  also assigns a theme to the day ever year with the theme for 2019 being "The Journey to Age Equality" to highlight the inequalities meted out to senior people on account of their advanced age.

The United Nations estimates that between 2017 and 2030, the number of persons aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 46 per cent (from 962 million to 1.4 billion) globally outnumbering youth, as well as children under the age of 10.

Moreover, this increase will be the greatest and most rapid in the developing world, Population ageing is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century, says the multilateral body.

Older people have always played a significant role in society as leaders, caretakers and custodians of tradition. Yet they are also highly vulnerable, with many falling into poverty, becoming disabled or facing discrimination. As health care improves, the population of older people is growing. Their needs are also growing, as are their contributions to the world.

The 2019 Theme for the International Day of Older Persons is "The Journey to Age Equality".

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s note that development will only be possible if it is inclusive of all ages. Empowering older persons in all aspects thus gains importance, with their active participation in social, economic and political life.

Thus the this year is aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 10 (SDG 10) which focuses on ways of coping with existing — and preventing future — old age inequalities.  The 2019 theme thus aims to:

  • Draw attention to the existence of old age inequalities and how this often results from a cumulation of disadvantages throughout life, and highlight intergenerational risk of increased old age inequalities.

  • Bring awareness to the urgency of coping with existing — and preventing future — old age inequalities.

  • Explore societal and structural changes in view of life course policies: life-long learning, proactive and adaptive labour policies, social protection and universal health coverage.

  • Reflect on best practices, lessons and progress on the journey to ending older age inequalities and changing negative narratives and stereotypes involving "old age."

The day is observed to educate the public on issues of concerns, to mobilize political will and resources to address problems and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity, says the UN.

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