Jaipur: Eighty-six-year-old Bansidhar Sharma of Seetaram Puri Basti in Jaipur, Rajasthan spent his youth fighting for the nation. He is amongst those distinguished freedom fighters who led India to freedom from the British Raj, but like many others his efforts went unnoticed. Today, he survives on Government pension, which isn't enough to meet his medical expenses.
After India became a free nation, he served the Congress government for 62 years. Blessed by 3 grandchildren through his only son who is employed with the Government, Bansidhar refuses to be a burden on his son and his family and looks for ways to sustain himself however tough the circumstances might be.
Suffering from a severe breathing problem and physical frailty at this stage of his life, he was in no condition to go to the nearest primary health care centre. So he turned to HelpAge India's Mobile Medicare Unit programme for assistance.
A friend and co-helper now of the programme, Bansidhar today is a different man. Though physically not so active, he is no longer disillusioned. He looks forward to life. HelpAge India hopes that it can reach out to many such elders who have contributed so much to the nation, and help them through its services so they can lead comfortable lives in their later years.
Bansidhar is one such person who has been a part of HelpAge programmes for the elderly, but there are many elderly who go unnoticed, who need our help and support.
90 per cent of India’s elderly population is from the unorganized sector without any support, sometimes even from their families, with 1 in every 4 elderly needing medical care.
HelpAge India is a secular, not-for-profit organisation, raising resources to protect the rights of India's elderly and provide relief to them through various interventions. The organisation voices the needs of India's 90 million "grey" population and directly impacts the lives of lakhs of elders through its nationwide initiatives.
HelpAge India works closely with the government and senior citizen associations across states to bring about changes at the policy level. By advocating with national and local government to bring about a policy that is beneficial to the elderly, HelpAge India enables the elderly to become aware of their own rights, so that they get their due and are able to play an active role in society.
HelpAge India's biggest supporters are its community of individual donors who give regularly, often without any expectation of returns, save satisfaction gained from doing a good deed. Among them are school children as young as 5, motivated by teachers and parents, to do their bit for the elderly.
More companies are also now choosing to implement socially responsible policies in response to the increasing number of customers, stakeholders and employees who demand that businesses give something back to society.