Annual Souvenir

 

ANNUAL REPORT

 

(01 April 2013 to 31 March 2014)

It gives us great pleasure in presenting the Annual Report for the Year ended 31 March 2014. The year under review has been both challenging and satisfying, in that, not only did we continue the process of consolidation but also built on existing strengths to introduce new initiatives.

 

MANAGING THE ASSOCIATION

Fourteen meetings of the Governing Body and two meetings of General Body were held during the year. In addition, several meetings of conveners, chapter heads and members of sub-committees were held to streamline their functioning.  The last AGM was held on 11 May 2013.

 

MEMBERSHIP

73 new members were enrolled and 5 Associate Members were upgraded as Life Members on attaining the age of 60 years. During the same period, we lost 24 of our valued colleagues including the senior most that was nearing103 years.  By the end of the period under review, we were 1708 strong, drawn from all walks of life. If we include Honorary Members and Shravaniks, this figure is close to 1750.

 

 

Local Members Owing to logistic problems, a number of senior citizens in various Sectors are unable to join activities of the Association.  Chapters of the Association now enroll them as “Local Members” up to 50% of CSCA members of the Chapter.

 

Affiliated Members.  Ten NGOs of the region, with a total membership of 2888, have affiliated with our Association. These affiliated members are entitled to participate in all activities of CSCA, thus enabling us to be a true representative of old/aged people of the region.

 

 

ACTIVITIES

There was a marked increase in the number and variety of activities organized during the year. Each of these was designed to meet one or the other aim listed in the Constitution.

 

Welfare of Senior Citizens

·         Healthcare The main focus of our activities in this area has been our six physiotherapy centres. (The erstwhile centre at Sector 9, Panchkula has been shifted to Shiv Mandir, Sector 21, Panchkula).  In addition, we continued to operate two acupressure centres, the Reiki Clinic and two yoga centres. 34,855 persons benefitted from our Healthcare activities.

·         Social Engagement of Members

o   Get-togethers. To help members overcome loneliness, boredom, neglect and isolation we organized at least two meetings every month at the central level. In addition, Chapters nine of them, with addition of one new chapter at Sector 44 Chandigarh during the year) were encouraged to hold periodic local, and one Association level, get-togethers.

o   Picnics. Six picnics were organized during the year. These included a trip each to Kasauli – a Hill Station in HP State- and reserved forests at Nepli and Kansal in UT Chandigarh.

o   Visit to Mauritius. Nine of our members visited Mauritius as part of a delegation of senior citizens in an exchange programmer organized by Respect Age International Agra from 25 April to 1 May 2013. Similar visit to Mauritius has been planned for our members as part of the delegation going in August 2014.

o   Trip to Kerala. A group of 48 members booked seats on Kerala Sampark Kranti Express for sightseeing in God’s Own Country. They left Chandigarh on 15 January and returned twelve days later after visiting various tourist spots in the State including the famous back waters, wild life sanctuary and all the world famous temples.

o   Group Meetings. A number of specialist programmers, where members could interact with experts or exchange views on serious topics, including a mushaira and talks were held. A house-full programmer, “SUNEHRI YADEIN”, of old songs by local and outstation artists wherein LM/226 Sh Bhupinder Singh brought alive the magic of late K L Saigal and eminent poet  Sh Gopal Das Neeraj (Padma Bhushan awardee) regaled the audience with his nostalgic poetry. Another programme, titled “SUBRANG”, of folk/modern dances and ballet was held in collaboration with Shri Sai Arts. The monthly meetings of Book Lovers’ Forum, being held for the last two years, where members share their reading experiences, have become popular.

o   Celebration of Birthdays. A joint celebration for members born in a particular month was held regularly on the last Saturday of every month. Members with standing of 15 years in the Association who are 80+ years were specially honored while token gifts were given to others. 102nd birthday of our GOM (Grand Old Man), Sh KD Dhawan, was celebrated at his residence as the centenarian could not attend Association’s function organized for the purpose.

o   Games and Sports. Competitions were organized in yoga, badminton and table tennis. They drew good response.

o   Computer Training. Our computer training centre remained over-booked and another 90 senior citizens and 61 girls from poor families were made computer literate during the year taking total number to 529 seniors and 137 girls.

o   Golden Years.  Golden Years, our monthly newsletter eagerly awaited not only by members but others, too. E-copies of the publication are being sent to nearly 500 addressees in India and abroad. We keep receiving messages of appreciation from a large number of recipients about high quality articles published in it.

 

Fulfilling Social Responsibility

·         Helping the Destitute. We organized 10 socio-medical / medical camps, in collaboration with the Administration and top local hospitals, to take service to the doorsteps of challenged sections of society. Over 3000 persons benefitted from these camps where, besides free medicines, assistance was provided for various welfare schemes like Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, loans and pensions.

·         Sharing Moments of Togetherness with Lonely Souls. The Association has been spending at least one day every year, usually a traditional festival like Lohri, Baisakhi, Holi, Diwali and Senior Citizens’ Day, with residents of Old Age Homes in and around the UT.

·         Helping Destitute Old Women. Under Project VANITA, members of the Association held fortnightly meetings with destitute women residing in Mauli Jagran and Indira colonies. We also gave material help to them, organized festivals and took them on outings. A special visit to Amritsar was organized for these destitute women which was highly appreciated by them.

·         Computer Training for Poor Girls. With a view to empower young girls from poor families, they were imparted computer training at our Computer Centre.  Some of these girls have secured gainful employment with different organizations in Chandigarh.

·         Financial Assistance for Worthy Causes. Financial assistance was rendered to SAS Free Polyclinic Trust, PRAYAS, SOS Village Centre at Rajpura and to needy girls for specialized professional courses.

·         Bridging the Generation Gap. We accepted invitation from managements of six schools to participate in their school functions.  An inter-college debate was organized by DAV College, Sector 10 on the subject based on famous American writer Mark Twain’s “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”. Five Colleges participated.

·         Concern for Environment. A cycle rally was taken out in July 2013, as in previous years, to spread the message of clean, pollution-free environment. Besides our members, a large number of school children and police personnel in civvies participated.

·         Project Shakti to Empower Young Girls. Having completed the mission of monitoring health parameters and distributing free medicines for over a year to 100 adolescent girls of Bapu Dham Colony and sponsoring 5 out of them to attend a one year course in Home Care & Nursing, a fresh set of 125 adolescent girls of Mauli Jagran was adopted in collaboration with two other NGOs (Society for Service to Voluntary Agencies and YUVSATTA).  The programmers entails routine medical checks and distribution of medicines for ailments like anemia, worms and skin diseases; talks on nutrition and hygiene; free issue of sanitary napkins for a year; distribution of woollens in winter and imparting skills like candle making, mehndi, pickle making and chalk making.

·         Project KALPANA. This project, formally launched on 16th April 2013, is designed to financially support exceptionally gifted girls for achieving their dream of higher professional education.  The original aim was to give such assistance to girls undergoing MBBS, Engineering Degree, MBA, Architecture etc. Having been unable to find suitable needy girls for long-duration higher professional courses, Managing Committee of the project decided to include shorter duration specialized courses like Elementary Teachers Training, Home Nursing, Law etc under the scope of the project.

 

Strengthening the Movement

·         A silent march was held on 17th August 2013 by around 1000 senior citizens through city’s main shopping centre in Sector 17 as part of Nation-wide protest in support of their demand for better deal for older persons. Marchers included certain younger persons who came to show solidarity with their grandparents. After the March, a Memorandum containing list of our concerns and demands was sent to the Prime Minister both directly and through the Member of Parliament as well as through Heads of Government and Administration.

·         Office Bearers of the Association participated in a number of meetings and seminars to discuss issues concerning senior citizens.

 

Seminars and Awareness Programmers

·         A seminar was organized on the occasion of Elder Abuse Day on 15th June, 2013 jointly with HelpAge India. The theme was set through a poem composed and recited by one of our members, bringing out maltreatment that elderly persons receive, and narration of some typical abuse cases through an inter-active session with victims. A study report prepared by Help Age India was presented. The seminar was presided over by Chairman Human Rights Commission, Punjab. Speakers included officers from Chandigarh Administration and Police Departments. We also assisted Social Welfare Department of UT to create further awareness on the subject as well as Maintenance & Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens’ Act, 2007.

·         Some of our members participated in a 3-day workshop conducted during February 2014 by Social Welfare Department in collaboration with ANUGRAHA, Delhi on “Age Care and Geriatric Counseling”.

 

CELEBRATIONS

As every year, we had three major functions during the year:  Baisakhi-cum-Raising Day in April 2013 presided over by Km. Selja (Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment); Senior Citizens’ Month in September 2013 preceding International Seniors’ Day on 1st October 2013 presided over by H.E Sh Jagannath Pahadia (Governor of Haryana) and International Women’s Day in March 2014, presided over by Hon’ble Justice Ms Navita Singh (Judge Punjab and Haryana High Court). Other dignitaries who attended our functions as Chief Guests were Sh Pawan Kumar Bansal (Member Pariament),Justice Jagdish Bhalla, Sh KK Sharma (Adviser to Administrator), Sh R P Upadhyay (IG Police), Sh R N Mital  (President AISCCON), Sh Anil Kumar (Home Secretary), Smt Madhu Bansal, Sh V Lalremthanga (Secretary Social Welfare), Sh Naunihal Singh  and Dr. Sukhchain Singh (SSPs UT Chandigarh) and Sh Rajesh Jogpal (Director, Social Welfare).

INDIVIDUALS SERVING SOCIETY

Heading NGOs. Several leading NGOs have, as their heads or key functionaries, members belonging to our Association. These NGOs include AISCCON; Aruna Asaf Ali Trust; Citizens Forum for Human Rights; FEDSEN-Punjab; Healthcare India; Indian National Portage Association; Investor Awareness Group; Sahayta Cancer Sahyog; SAS Free Polyclinic Trust; Shri Sai Arts; Society for Service to Voluntary Agencies; SPCA and Youth Technical Training Society.

Working with Administration. Several of our members are associated with different wings of UT Administration and with a number of cultural, literary and social service organizations in and around Chandigarh, rendering invaluable service to society.  Two of our members – LM/391 Dr. Amrit Tiwari and LM/724 Maj D.S. Sandhu – are nominated Councillors of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

 

 

 Nomination to National Council of Senior Citizens

Our President, Sh D S Grewal was nominated as member of this council for a period of three years. The council is headed by Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.

 

 

 Noble Gestures

Fifty of our members have so far pledged their bodies for research to PGIMER. A donation of Rs 1,36,000 was received and sent to Prime Ministers’ National Relief Fund for rehabilitation of victims of  Utterakhand floods. Another donation of Rs 1,42,000 was received from our members for treatment of our Office help, Sh Ram Singh, who had none to fall back upon when faced with sudden heart problem needing bypass surgery. (Unfortunately he died before the surgery. The unspent amount of Rs 1.25 Lac was converted into a Welfare Fund as desired by the donors).

 

 

RELATIONS WITH U.T. ADMINISTRATION

We have reason to be satisfied with the cordial relationship that has been established and maintained with the Administration and its departments especially Chandigarh Police, Directorate of Social Welfare and Education Department. This has been earned through hard work, sincerity and financial transparency.

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We acknowledge with gratitude the generous donations received from our members, their children and the public, and the grants and support from various Governments/ other agencies. Our sponsors and collaborators, and the print and electronic media deserve our thanks, and admiration. We look forward to their continued support and co-operation in our future endeavors.