Sunday, June 27, 2010
I became a member of Indiblogger in January 2010. My blog Kaaranam-ketkadhe in blogspot is rather poorly read / visited because the subjects I deal with are dull, drab and prosaic. I write on issues of senior citizens and even they complain that that while the topics and posts are useful, relevant and important, the rendering is boring and unwelcome!
Why is the readership or rather visitor ship poor? I concentrate mostly on subjects that interest only senior citizens. Most senior citizens are not net savvy. Among those that are net savvy, they get to read my posts directly through a web group called sss-global that I moderate that is there is no need for them to visit the blog. They have alternate choices. Therefore people visiting the blog site and reading there are not many. My efforts to reach more people were not yielding results despite standing upside down and employing every trick I learnt..
Then came the Indibloggers Meeting in Hyderabad in April 2010. I made a few friends over there. I also got good exposure because I was one of the few senior citizens taking to blogging. Fellow bloggers started reading my blogs, voting my posts in Indivine and making comments in my blog too at times. Enthused by this I kept my blog active with the result that the latest Indirank for my blog is 82!!
I want to thank profusely all my new found friends through Indibloggers connection. I am unable to reciprocate by visiting all my friends’ blogs and placing comments. Therefore I have given a list of my voters here. You will also find a few of them in the following collage too. THANKS ONCE AGAIN, ALL MY WELL WISHERS.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Priya Ramakrishnan & Brinda Majithia / DNATuesday, June 15, 2010
Mumbai: For senior citizens across the country, World Elder Abuse
Awareness Day, observed on Monday, is the start of a new campaign.
Declared by United Nations, the day serves as a reminder to the world
to ensure implementation of various policies by the government to
support the elderly. However, in India, various NGOs and support
groups across the country are using the day to draw attention to the
plight of senior citizens and the apathy of the government in not
implementing various policies effectively.
"Our government had declared a comprehensive National Policy of Older
Persons in 1999 with a clear directive. But, no action has been taken
on the implementation of the policy. Even the chief information
commissioner, Delhi, has taken note of the non-implementation and
given a clear directive to outline the plan of action in a time bound
manner for the larger benefit of older persons.
Not implementing this policy by central and state governments and
other stakeholders even after 11 years is nothing but deplorable abuse
of elders in India," said MV Ruparelia, senior citizen activist.
Another grouse against the state government is the failure to
implement the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens
Act, 2007. It is implemented partially in only three states in the
last three years. However, senior citizens in 32 states are still
deprived of its benefits.
Furthermore, according to Ruparelia, the worst sufferers are the 65+
belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. "Around 70% of them
live in villages and survive by doing physical labour. They are
miserable because they are unable to do hard work due to age related
disabilities. The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme
assured them a pension of a minimum Rs400, which would have made their
last few years a little comfortable. However, out of 35 states in the
country, 24 have not bothered to even look at this scheme," he said.
With the objective of bringing it to the notice of the people and
government, various non-government organisations (NGO) across the
country working in the field are tying up to form an alliance and
observe August 16 as National Protest Day to highlight their
grievances to the governments. Some of the participating NGOs include
All India Senior Citizen Confederation (AISCCON), Nerul, Silver
Lining, Bandra, Maharashtra federation of senior citizens, Harmony,
Dignity Foundation, etc.
"More than 30 NGOs and voluntary organisations are participating in
this," Ruparelia said.
The Deccan Chronicle of Chennai edition has the entire page two devoted to the "issue"
"World Elder abuse awareness day today : Senior citizens are still being abandoned by their children"- surviving the great betrayal in twilight years.
P B Pillai
--- On Tue, 6/15/10, Padmanabha Vyasamoorthy <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Sunday, June 13, 2010
GOI has disbursed Rs 200 pm per BPL senior citizen above 65 years as
OAP and the number of persons covered is 163 lakhs..
There are 12.5 cr BPL seniors (30% of 8.36 cr senior citizens in india in 2006)
This works out to 13%. That is, at the all India level, even if all the
money spent has actually reached the proper poor people it will only
be to 13%. Rest 87% are going without even this Rs 200 pm.
What a shame.
(If anyone is willing to spend time analysing GOI MOSJE data I can
send a 170 pp annual report 2008-09)
If this is not gross elder abuse through neglect what else is?
Dr P Vyasamoorthy,
30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278
My blog: http://vyasa-kaaranam-ketkadey.blogspot.com/
I have pleasure in publishing Sr Ruparelia's article on WEAAD
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – 15th June 2010 – Neglect by Government
15-6-2010 is the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day declared by UNO. According to the INPEA, Elder Abuse is a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship, where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person. It can be of various forms-physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, financial or simply reflect intentional or unintentional neglect. Elder Abuse is a violation of Human Rights and a significant cause of injury, illness, loss of productivity, isolation & despair. Confronting & reducing Elder Abuse requires a multisectoral & multidisciplinary approach.
Our Government had declared a comprehensive National Policy of Older Persons in 1999 with clear directive in each of 98 paras of the Policy that provision made in each para will be done and no where words ``shall or may be done`` were used. Para 93 of the Policy clearly lays down that each Ministry will prepare Action Plan for the Year as well as for Five Year and fix Targets and Time Schedules to take steps to ensure flow of all benefits to older persons. Even Chief Information Commissioner, Delhi vide his orders dt 27-6-08 vide his no. 2701/Senior Citizens/(A)/2008 in Case no. C I C/MA/A/ 2008/00645 to Ministry Of Social Justice & Empowerment has taken note of non-implementation and given clear directive to outline the plan of action in a time bound manner for the larger benefit of older persons. Not implementing this Policy by Central & State Governments and other stake holders even after 11 years is nothing but Deplorable Abuse of Elders in India in light of INPEA`s above definition! UNO has also started taking stock of implementation by various Governments of their directives given in their United Nation International Plan of Action adopted by all Countries in Madrid in 2002.
Ministry of Social Justice entrusted to implement this Policy feels that Policy is for guidance only! All other Ministries believe that they are not concerned with Policy and only Nodal Ministry has to deal with the subject!! Only 6 States & UT's, out of 35 States and UT's, have so far accepted [not implemented ! ] this Policy,99. Remaining 29 States/UTs have not even taken cognizance of it. Even out of the 6 States/UTs, none has really implemented it to any considerable level!!
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 is implemented partially in only three States in three years! Senior Citizens in 32 States and UT's are still deprived of its benefits.
No State/UT has made any progress for providing Old Age Homes in each District, as mandated in MWPS Act, 2007.
Today the poorest among poor are Senior Citizens. The worst sufferers are the very old that is 65+ belonging to BPL category. 70% of them live in villages and survive by doing physical labour. They are miserable because they are unable to do hard work because of age related disabilities. The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme assured them minimum of Rs 400 per month pension which would have made their last few years little comfortable, but it was not to be. Out of 35 States and UT's, 24 have not bothered to look at this scheme. Among 11 which claim to have implemented it, it has become an instrument for extending political favour and majority of eligible are excluded. In Andhra Pradesh only Rs 200/- are paid and that too through self appointed community leaders and Panchayats, who pass on only Rs 100/- to Rs 150/-. Our random surveys showed that more than 50% of elders were deprived even of this.
Recently, three budgets were announced, Railway, Central and States but no Minister even mentioned about existence of 9 crore Senior Citizens. None of their demands was conceded though all the demands were simple and were driven only by considerations of social justice.
There is no Health or Social Security in most of the States/UTs. Though we have shown on paper that the cost of covering the 9% Senior Citizens under Health Insurance on the lines of Aarogyasri in AP will be negligible compared to other cost items, yet no action is taken on this proposal. As on now only 5 out of 35 States & UTs [28 States + 7 UT's] provide some sort of health cover to BPL category; the APL Senior Citizens are still left high and dry without any health security, whatsoever.
Our repeated demand for 50% concession in railways [for male Senior Citizens] has been ignored every time. Special suburban trains are run for ladies & separate coach is provided for handicaps but nothing is being done to provide separate coach for Senior Citizens. Similarly 50% concession in State Bus services has been turned down by all States except a very few progressive States. Grant of 2% higher interest rates on our savings was not even considered.
The Senior Citizens were ignored not for the first time. It was fourth time in a row. We have been facing this type of neglect not only in Budgets but even in the redressal of our legitimate concerns and the execution of our welfare schemes. Extremely poor response in most of the States to execution of various welfare schemes is an indication of their indifference towards us.
Frustrated Senior Citizens in all over the country have decided to observe 16 th August,10 as National Protest Day to highlight their grievances to the Governments, World Organizations, Society & Media and request on this World Elder Abuse Day to stop our Abuse & look towards us as their Elders, who have worked hard to get Freedom, Present Prosperity & Progress.
T.No. 022-28123691 M. 9821732855
You must have seen a number of Souvenirs published in connection with certain events like Seminars, Symposia, Conferences, Special celebrative days of organizations etc. Why are they published, who reads them and how to get best out of souvenirs? You may not have wandered over these questions; will you let me do it for you?
Most people publish souvenirs as a routine part of event based activities like decennial days, Silver or Golden Jubilee Celebrations, seminars, symposia, conferences etc By collecting advertisements, you can make some money for your organization. By publishing a souvenir you can please many people: the novice article writer among your friends, some political fellow to release it, some printer whom you can oblige or your treasurer who will see some good cash balance and others.
What are the contents of a souvenir? Mostly nothing important. They contain articles by eminent busy personalities who endlessly re-circulate what they had written years ago. Many other contributions are by novices who are glad to see their writing in print. Messages, details of the event like program schedule, members of various committees, photos of people whose favor we are seeking, Local info about the city, travel / tourist info and the like occupy souvenir volumes. Therefore it is not taken by many people seriously. In my experience, souvenirs are read by article-contributors and proof readers, if any. They are seen by advertisers to verify that their advertisements have indeed been printed. Those who might keep them (not read them) are the ones whose photos have appeared or perhaps the members of the souvenir sub committee. Anyway, they are not intended to be read, retained or retrieved for later reference. I have not seen many exceptions.
Are then such souvenir publications thoroughly useless? No, not at all. Apart from a few articles that may be thought provoking, useful and usable content, you can infer many things from a souvenir. If there are good number of advertisements the organization and its sponsors are rich and affluent. If the names of bigwigs and celebrities are involved in the activities, the organization is influential. You may get to know the organization in greater detail. You can improve your contacts, from the list of paper presenters, session chairmen and similar info.
Even advertisements may be useful, deepening upon how you look at them. Recently I saw a souvenir released in connection with decennial celebrations of Senior Citizens Seva Samithi, Hanuman Nagar, Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad. It is multicolor, multi language, full of advertisements, photos, and many articles. Out of some 70 advertisements in this 88 pages booklet, only one advertisement was specifically tuned to the audience. The Microtek advertisement on back cover page for UPS says: "Special Discount for Senior Citizens". There are many advertisers who could have slanted their text to catch elders' attention, but they didn't. This could be because the advertisers did not bother or because they were not 'educated' by the souvenir committee.
I am wondering why we can not get more meaningful advertisements tailor made to senior citizens in a souvenir intended for retired people. It will be mutually rewarding both to the SCA and the advertisers. Who will try?
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
who is a resident of our colony. She is QC Techie (Infosys) in cyberabad. Missed
her company bus and chose to take an auto. The driver had a friend
sitting next to him. When she noticed that the vehicle was going in
wrong direction she raised an alarm, shouted and tried to stop the
auto. Meanwhile her handbag fell out of the auto with all IDs and
cellphone. The accomplice sprayed something on the lady's face to
control her. She fell unconscious and when she woke up she was
somewhere in Medchal. Meanwhile the police contacted the husband and a
hunt was started. Ultimately the captors bought her a bus ticket and sent home.
There were severe bruises and signs of thrashings when
she returned home after about 12 hours of struggle in captivity. There seems to
have have been some negotiation and settlement. Finer details are not
known to me.
I would like to offer a few tips to women traveling alone in autos and
taxis.Many of these are applicable to vulnerable senior citizens also.
1. Always send an SMS to some friend as soon as you sit in the auto.
Always tell someone or the other over cell phone as to where you are
going to. Fake the conversation if needed.
2. Carry a pepper spray or some such self protection device and have it ready for use, though discretely, say under a kerchief.
3. If in trouble, draw the attention of others by banging metal object against
another metal - say a tiffin box on body of the auto
4. If you have water in water bottle pour it out slowly to leave a
trace / draw attention.
5. Invest time to learn karate, judo etc.this is on long term basis.
6. If you can equip yourself with a battery powered hooter, get it and use it.
7. Abroad, Tasers are available for private use. Persons having access
to buying things abroad may equip themselves with this.
8. Never get into an auto that already carries a driver's friend /
accomplice. IF the driver stops to pick up a friend on the way, just
refuse to entertain and walk out.
9. While traveling in an auto alone, never get absorbed in reading
some book and forget to be alert as to where you are going. If the
route is unknown, keep track of localities covered - this may be
useful later on.
10. Never show you are worried or afraid. Put on a bold face, be
prepared; Don't be paranoid either. Practice to be ready for any
eventuality. Don't get chatty with the driver and pass on all kinds of
info about yourself.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Too many Questions, too few answers
This book is a compilation of random selection of articles I have
written in my blogs and elsewhere. It is put in print form to reach a
larger audience who do not have access to Internet. To emphasize that
I haven't been successful understanding the psychology of senior
citizens, though I have been working for and with this age group for
about ten years, the title contains the poignant word – 'enigmatic' !
Most of the articles in the first section are of advising but
adversarial in nature, rather written in preaching style that may
irritate those who read! Hence the warning: 'unsolicited'. First
section deals with some deficiency, difficulty or some weakness or the
other of older persons and suggests ways of handling them. In the
second section I give a series of reviews of books, websites, blog
sites and portals; these are recommendatory in nature. The third
section talks of a few services and service providers specific to the
retired group. Next section is a set of articles where the thought
content is contributed by many of my friends collectively via the web
group that I moderate. The last section is a motley collection of
stories that can not be grouped easily – they tell about my self.
I trust you will find this book enjoyable enough to recommend it to
To order a copy (RS 175 plus postage) go to:
Section 1 : Articles
Why are Senior Citizens conservative and rigid? 12
Does the World revolve around you? 15
Why do Senior Citizens crave to be heard? March 23, 2010 17
Why do Senior Citizens have Learning Phobia? 19
Why Do Senior Citizens retire mentally too? 21
Why are Senior Citizens full of Ego? 23
Why Do Senior Citizens Feel Lonely? 25
Why do Senior Citizens Become Religious after Retirement? 27
Why do senior citizens find it difficult to adjust after retirement? 29
Why do Senior Citizens repeat same old stories? 31
Why do many old people fight wherever they go? 33
Why do Senior Citizens make frivolous demands? 35
Why Should God always be with you? 38
Four ways to revive a friendship 40
How Senior Citizens can keep learning for ever? - Consider U3A 42
Are you a compulsive hoarder – Need some advice? 44
Some Tips to Read Small Prints 46
Section 2: Book & Web reviews
Book Review: Geriatric Housecall Project 51
Book Review: Pensioners Handbook 2010 53
Managing the Unmanageable Child by Dr Vaidyanathan 55
Book Review: Probus Guide for Seniors 57
The Joy of Ageing by PV Ramamurti – Book Review 59
How to Cure Diseases with Natural Foods: Book Review 62
A Review of Some Second Career jobsites 66
RREWA Website is a boon to pensioners 69
Old Age Solutions : Website Review 71
Senior World Chronicle : Blogsite Review 73
SECTION 3: Services for the Elderly
Free Listening Services for the Elderly - PESU 75
Listening Services – Volunteers List 77
Free Medical Advice over Phone: 104 Service 81
Mayacare Errand Services for the Elderly 83
SECTION 4: Not by me alone: Collective authorship
Culinary Tips from seniors: How to thicken Sambar 87
Senior Citizens Turn Creative 89
STREET VENDORS : A co-operative enumeration 91
Cremation or Burial: What do Senior Citizens prefer? 95
SECTION 5: Miscellaneous
Senior Citizens are also known as … 99
The S philosophy of vyaSa 102
VIRTUAL LINK 104
I lost my wife to Pancreatic Cancer on 30th November 2009 106