For the past two years, it was my proud privilege to be the President of the Millennium Elders’ Forum. My term came to an end recently in the course of the Annual General Body Meeting held in April 2019. It was a satisfying experience despite the difficulties, at times, of having to deal with elders many of them much older than me! When I was elected the President in 2017, I was 65 and the average age of our Executive Committee was 73. At that time, someone had mentioned that I was too young to have become the President !!!
MEF Executive Committee for 2018-19
The Millennium Elders’ Forum was established as a registered society of elders in 2008 by a few eminent gentlemen living in the JP Nagar area of South Bangalore like the late Mr S K Banerjee IPS ( a former Director General of Police) and Prof K S Bhat ( a former Professor at the Administrative Staff College of India). They became the Founding President and Secretary respectively. I joined the MEF, as it is popularly called, in 2011 on becoming a Senior Citizen. I had the opportunity, over time, to serve on the Executive Committee. At that time, Mr R Jagannathan IPS, (retired Director General of Police) was the President and he was succeeded by Prof S R Seetharam, a former Director of BEML. We have about 120 members, all senior citizens living largely in the Brigade residential enclaves in JP Nagar.
I am glad that I suggested we support elders in Old Age Homes in our area as a community service cause to channelize our energies. In doing so, we could render whatever assistance we could to those less fortunate than ourselves. It is so sad to see some elders having to stay there because they have no other place to go to. In some cases, they have been virtually abandoned by their families. It is reported that 18 % of elderly men and 26 % of elderly women have disabilities because of chronic diseases. After all, our motto in the MEF was ” Sharing and Caring.”
To celebrate International Day of the Older Person in October 2017 we raised funds through a souvenir and donated Rs. 4.13 lakhs to old age homes by way of goods and equipment which they needed. These included cots, mattresses, UPS systems, wheel chairs, large sized cooking vessels etc. Likewise, in the next year we raised another Rs 1.05 lakh for this ongoing community service project. So far, over 390 elders residing in old age homes in South Bangalore have benefitted from our initiative.
I have given much of my time over the last two years for this cause. I have derived a lot of satisfaction from this. The satisfaction of helping someone in need is reward in itself