The Amity Centre for Gender Justice and Child Rights under Amity Law School, Amity University Noida, Uttar Pradesh, organised a one-day community outreach training programme, “NITYASHAKTI 2022: Social and Gender Equilibrium”, in collaboration with Shambhukha Foundation, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The aim of the social equilibrium programme was to sensitise students towards challenges of the aged members of the society and to create an environment of learning challenges of aged members of the society. While the gender equilibrium programme focused on making students understand new challenges pertaining to gender equity and making them aware about recent developments.
Addressing the gathering, its chief guest, Ganga Prasad, the governor of Sikkim, averred, “The themes of today’s discussion were very relevant as women empowerment and respect for the elderly is the need of the hour, in today’s scenario. Even the Indian scriptures, Vedas and Puranas, have always emphasised on the importance of respecting women and have placed them above all human beings. Women should always be supported and encouraged to excel in every field. Evil practices such as the dowry system and other bad practices, prevalent in our society, should be completely done away with. Elderly people should be treated with great respect as they are the pillars of our society. Our culture values and traditions should be followed by us and giving respect to our elders is an integral part of our culture.”
Ashok K Chauhan, founder president, Amity Education Group, stated, “It is our aim to make India a global super power which is only possible if we eradicate gender discrimination and treat women respectfully by giving them equal rights and opportunities. Also, we must respect our elders as they play an important role in our families and societies. By taking advice from our elders, we can prepare ourselves for a brighter future. We, as a nation, have to become self-reliant in every field which will lead to the socio-economic development of our country.”
Highlighting the problem of ageing in the Indian scenario, Shivani Srivastava, national creative head, Shambhuka Foundation, stated, “India is a country, where the ratio of aged people in favour of males. 10% of the population above 60 years of age suffer from impaired physical mobility and 10% are hospitalised at any given point of time. The number of old age homes has increased in the recent few years. The main problems faced by the elderly include failing health, economic insecurity, isolation, neglect, abuse, fear, boredom and low self- esteem. Therefore, there is an urgent need to address the problems of the elderly and the focus should be on reorganisation of the facilities and approach, revival of cultural values, reinforcing the traditional practice of interdependence. She further elaborated, “Education is the cornerstone of preventing elderly abuse, as most cases of abuse occur at home by family members of caregivers. There needs to be a concerted effort to educate the public about the special needs and problems of older adults and the risk factors of abuse. Counselling sessions can also help elderly people in overcoming mental or behavioural problems.”
Archana Sharma, founder and MD, Samvedana Foundation added that ageism is prejudice or discrimination against people based on their age. “It typically applies to people who are older but can also affect young people. Ageism has a negative impact on physical and mental health and discrimination on the basis of age is quite prevalent in our society. Therefore, it is important to take care of the old people by providing them physical care, social care, mental health and community awareness.” she further said.
Sharing her views on the occasion, Bhakti Sharma, sarpanch of Barkhedi Abdullah Panchayat, MP, remarked, “Senior citizens play a significant role in the development of a country. Often when they reach retirement age, they are neglected by families and society, despite being the most experienced and learned members. We can learn a lot from the wisdom and experience of our grandparents and the elderly. Therefore, we need to respect our elders and pay special attention to all their needs- health, financial and emotional.”
Vishal Mehan, advocate, SSG Law Chambers, remarked, “Senior citizens and women should be well aware of their rights and Articles 14, 15 and 16 from the Indian Constitution state the rights of each gender. No government can deny any support on the grounds of religion, caste, gender, etc.”