SRINAGAR: A two-day national seminar on “Ageing and Elderly Care: Critical Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward” began at the University of Kashmir on Thursday.
The seminar has been organised by the university’s department of Social Work in collaboration with the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
Vice Chancellor Prof Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi, who presided over the inaugural session, said. “It is unfortunate that due to continuous deviations from our roots, traditions, religious and moral teachings, we have as a society today reached a point where we are discussing how to take care of our elders who otherwise should have been our first and foremost priority.”
The role of any education system is to transform a naïve mind into a responsible and civilised person, he said.
“The situation we are engulfed in vis-à-vis caring for the elderly shows that somewhere there is a fault in our modern day education system and the lifestyle, and in this so-called new world order where knowledge is regarded as power we have somehow ignored our parents and elders.”
In his remarks, member State Accountability Commission (SAC), Justice (retd) BA Kirmani, who was guest of honour, referred to some media reports and said: “Around one crore souls in the country who belong to the old age category have been driven out of their homes and shelters by their children and are presently spending their days and nights somewhere in old age homes or on roads which reflects a very sorry state of affairs of our society.”
Prof Mala Kapur Shankardas from Delhi University delivered the keynote address and provided an insight into the overall scenario of ageing and elderly care at the countrywide level and various challenges faced by the elderly in terms of inadequate healthcare, mobility, depleting sources of income and lack of provisions of living a life of dignity.