Old is gold

Old is gold

It is said that age is all mind over matter – if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. If age is a matter of the mind, then you’re as old as you feel. Though old age has its drawbacks, it comes with many rewards. Old is Gold, because virtues like wisdom, insight, patience, tolerance and knowledge come with old age. It is to honour these virtues that we celebrate the World Elder’s Day.

On Friday October 01, 2004, the Rotary Club of Thane North End (RCTNE) and Innerwheel Club of Thane Hills (IWCTH) together organised a programme to celebrate Elder’s Day. Held at Gadkari Rangayatan, over 350 senior citizens attended the programme. Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest Retired Judge Raja Bhau Gawande said, "Old age is a phenomenon to be enjoyed. If you love your life, life will love you." He also told the audience how in foreign countries, old age is categorised as young old (60-80 years) and old-old (80-100 years). Ashok Chitnis, former Principal of Bedekar School held a story telling session in which he narrated an award-winning story written by him about a notorious student and his teacher.

Later, three elders were felicitated: Chandravage Chorge, 102 years, Parashuram Naik, 95 years and Khayatkar, 93 years as their contemporaries in the audience cheered.

At the time when so many elder are abused, it is time for the youth and children to acknowledge that we owe our life to them. Old age is inevitable, and some day, the youth of today will become the old of tomorrow. Perhaps it is a good time to commit to memory the following quotation by the French romantic poet, novelist and dramatist Victor Hugo, which echoes the sentiments of elders accurately: "The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved – loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves." Let’s pledge happiness for our elders.

For your eyes only
Did you know that with nearly one third of the world’s blind, India has one of the highest incidences of blindness in the world? And though a significant proportion of these persons can have their eyesight restored through corneal transplantation, thousands of blind persons registered with the eye banks have to wait for years because of an acute shortage of donor eyes. Incidentally our neighbouring Sri Lanka has ten times more donor eyes than the requirement. Needless to say, we need to create an urgent awareness about eye donations, if we are to reduce this paucity.

While celebrating World Elder Day at the Gadkari, the RCTNE also used the opportunity to inaugurate an eye bank called "Diyva Drushti," a project which is part of the Centennial Year Celebrations of The Rotary International. A skit presentation by Suhas Joshi, Iravati Lagoo, Leeladhar Kambli, and Yatin Thakur urged people to pledge their eyes for donation. The skit creating attempted to create awareness about the benefits of the noble deed and also busted a few myths associated with eye donation. For example, removing the eye does not disfigure the face of the donor.

For pledge forms and other details, readers may contact Dr. Shekhar Suradkar or Dr. Kalpana Suradkar, at Highway Hospital, near Teen Haat Naka. Tel: 2582 2683/2581 2910. Mobile 9820045614

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