Kilkari Bihar Bal Bhavan has decided to lend a new meaning to the lives of the elderly that would help tackle their loneliness and keep them engaged at the same time.
Officials of Kilkari, a unit of the state education department that imparts vocational training to deprived children, said the idea was to take benefit of the experiences of retired people through voluntary services from them. According to the plan, the elderly would share their skills and experiences with the children of Kilkari.
Jyoti Parihar, director, Kilkari Bihar Bal Bhavan, said: “Thirteen aged people, including those who retired from the post of chief engineers and teachers, have evinced interest in the programme and responded to a newspaper advertisement we published. We are happy about that. We tried the idea because it would help children utilise their experience. One cannot deny that the senior citizens’ experience would help children increase their productivity. The elderly have seen more ups and downs in life. So they can share their experiences as well knowledge.”
Asked what motivates retired people to give voluntary services, R.B. Upadhyay, a former principal of PN Anglo Sanskrit High School who retired in 1999, said: “I used to spend most of my time with children before my retirement because of my job. I just loved that. Being with children gives you a different kind of happiness which you cannot match with any other thing.”
Hiresh Kumar Sinha, a retired chief engineer of Prasar Bharti, said: “I want to utilise my leisure time in a meaningful way. That is why I have offered my services for the children at Kilkari. My wife, Geeta, has also applied for the same programme.”
She added: “Elderly people can handle children in a better way than anyone else because of their experience. We have raised our children. So, we know how to handle children. We know what can bring smiles on their faces and what can disturb them.”
The Bhavan would hold a meeting on February 8 to decide on the final volunteers.