Ageing is inevitable, we all are going to get there and there is no running away from that reality.How we choose to age and how we choose to treat those ageing, lies entirely on us.united nation has termed India, an ageing country, we have an elder strength of 104 million.we need to prepare now to ensure that our elders and later years are lived with independence & dignity. Elders today are struggling against the odds of falling health, lack of financial resources, retirement, bereavement, lack of social inclusion, isolation, financial constraints and elder abuse.we need to strive hard to make India an age-friendly nation and empower our elders, and implement programs catering to their social, financial, psychological and holistic needs. As I join the board of Waco as it's additional director, therein lies a huge task ahead of me, serving our vast family of disadvantaged elders.88 percent of our elders over the age of 80 years face chronic ailments.12 million are blind and 90 million need to work in order to survive.these are hard numbers to contend with.needless to say the challenge is formidable. By 2050, the elderly are projected to constitute 20 percent of the total population,324 million.india is ageing faster than we think. Today's elders also face the challenge of the 'dizital divide'alienated, by technology and struggling to cope with the millennial generation, they no longer feel they are the gurus of knowledge, for now there is google search.we at Waco strive hard to bridge this divide by conducting 'dizital literacy workshops, so they are not isolated socially and become independent. While in rural India, we work towards making them self-sustainable, by encouraging them to Form Elder-self-help -groups.To envision a better India for our elders, it is important that we be connected with the ground realities.one needs to get innovative, find means and look at solutions that work for the elderly at the ground level. Proper health Care and social security are foremost needs of the disadvantaged elder. Waco is therefore driving vigorously our advocacy efforts with central and state governments at the policy level.we work with not only a welfare, but as well as a Rights based approach, the aim is to ensure our elders get what is rightfully theirs. As Indian, we have always had to power to innovate, create and transform.if we put this very skillset to use, to create a better environment for our elders and treat them with love, care and respect there is nothing we cannot achieve.Every time a disaster strikes, we all open our hearts and purses generously, to help those in need, if we made that Little effort on a daily or more frequent basis, we can change the lives of million of elderly.Every single rupee goes a long way in helping those who have nothing or no one to support them. It is humbling to see the focus and didication of my staff and colleagues at Waco.they work tirelessly to help our elders in need. The road ahead is filled with challenges, but as we look ahead, we envision a society where elders live with dignity and self-respect, and we will continue striving hard to make that a reality.
--World Aids Control Organisation--