Shalibanda Senior Citizens Forum

ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan had a very successful awareness session on Friday, Jan2 , facilitated by Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA), at the Senior Citizens Forum, Shalibanda.

Mr. Mohammed Turab, Executive Secretary, COVA and Ms. Puneetha from COVA were instrumental in getting this event organized.

The forum was celebrating its 9th Anniversary and we had the unexpected good fortune of meeting the Chief Guest, Mr. A. Ramulu, President AP Pensioners Association, and Mr. P. Srinivasulu, Project Director AASRA. The Forum is located at the Guna vanth Granthalaya, a library that houses rare books in urdu, Hindi, Persiona and Sanskrit.

The celebrations commenced with garlanding the invitees and inviting them to the dias, followed by the lighting of the lamp. The Gen Secretary of the forum, Mr. Saxena, gave an annual report. He recounted the history of the forum and summarized the activities. These included inauguration and use of indoor game facilities provided by AASRA, public tournaments, cataract eye camp.

Dr. Suvarna talked on "Memory in healthy aging and disease" followed by Rukhsana's talk on ARDSI Hyderabad services. A brief Q&A session had audience asking questions related to general aging rather than dementia:

  1. Dr's talk covered only one problem encountered in aging. Can there be other sessions detailing other issues in gerontology
  2. Are there geriartic clinics in Hyderabad?
  3. Insomnia

Special invitee, Dr. Anand Das Varma, (retired principal of Anwar-ul- ullom college), spoked eloquently in Urdu about the challenges of old age. His talk was replete with Urdu shers eulogizing old age. He also formally requested AASRa to take up the cause of people who have retired from private service, draw govt pension but do not have
healthcare benefits covered by CGHS.

Mr. Srinivasulu, talked about AASRA's initiatives - ID card, daycare center, eye and diabetees screening camps, helplines, Satyma help in mapping volunteeers. AASRA is a joint initiative by GHMC and HelpAge India that provides services to senior citizens. He also expressed Mr. Ramulu, President AP Pensioners Association, spoke about the challenges faced by the association in getting revoked DA back for pensioners, problems of isolation faced by old people in the changing Indian family landscape (joint to sub-nuclear), etc. He also expressed his satisfaction with the awareness program and how it helped him understand what memory was and gain an understanding of what Alz was beyond WAD celebartions. He invited us to conduct an awareness session
for pensioners.

Mr. Mukeem, President of the Forum also addressed the audience. The Vote of Thanks, was one of a kind, with the Joint Secretary Mr. Bhonsle, thanking all invitees in flawless Urdu. The session conlcuded with 2 min silence- homage to the martyrs of Mumbai attacks, and remembering departed souls of the forum.