The cyclothon is flagged off by Mr. TS Krishnamurthy, retired Chief Election Commissioner and Mr. Krishnaswamy, Business Head of TI Cycles. It was a wonderful event very well arranged by HelpAge and supported by many long-standing friends who attended to cheer me on.
In attendance was the indomitable Mrs. Kamachi Subramanium, 92 years, who says she is in no hurry to leave the world. In her words she loves to be with people, she loves talking to people and she loves the noise and buzz of people around her.
My steed for the ride lies perched on top of a TI Cycles support vehicle. With me are the friendly technicians who will be supporting me on the ride.
My cousin Brig. Mohan Bharathan makes a donation to HelpAge for their care projects for elders, the first of what may well be a copious flow.
Warm appreciation for the cause.
A light moment with very dear supporters of the cyclothon.
Edwin Babu ( left) Muthukrishnan ( right) are long standing employees of HelpAge based in Chennai. In a matter of fact way, they share that HelpAge has rescued over 14000 senior citizens, many terminally ill, who were abandoned on the roadside. Muthu runs a helpline that receives alerts that trigger prompt action. I enjoyed talking to these very dedicated personnel from HelpAge India.
A press meet at the Press Club B’lore was an ideal stage to get the cyclothon rolling.
Sitting to my right as you view the photo is Mr. Murthy Rao, a ninety year old very active senior citizen. He runs an old age home with great care and empathy with the emphasis on active aging. One area he focuses on a lot is to ensure that the inmates are always engaging in one activity or another.
A few words of caution in preparation from Rekha Murty, the State Head -Karnataka of HelpAge Inda. It was timely, there was dis-interest and an insistence on Kanada as the medium of exchange to start with but as the meeting progressed there was palpable interest.
The enthusiastic team from HelpAge India with Murthy Rao and Premila.
Quite a few reporters captured sound bites and carried out interviews. We may see some of these covered in the Kanada media.
With Mr.Mathew Cherian,CEO,HelpAge India. HelpAge is providing full support for my cycloton in aid of Old Age Care, Project Golden Sunset. HelpAge will support through their branch offices along the route of the cycloton and will also make available mobile medical units at select locations. HelpAge will mobilise the elderly to participate in the cycloton,by cycling short distances, at staging locations across the country.
My good friend Gagan Khosla on turning 60 decided to take on an epic endeavour. He cycled from Leh to Kanyakumari in the awesome time of 29 days. His epic effort is being showcased on the Epic Channel on Saturday 27th October 2018.
He is now dreaming of conquering Mount Everest.
Keep going Gagan !!
Udhavi is a Chennai based organisation, set up to help the elderly. Especially those who live alone without their children. They offer companionship by visiting them, to stave off their loneliness and is doing commendable work.
It was founded by Sabita Ramakrishna, a vibrant senior citizen, at the age of 75.
The link takes you to the Udhavi web-site to learn more about them.
Volunteers of Udhavi take up small errands for the elderly, like helping them take a walk to the beach, to the temple, to concerts or an occasional movie. They accompany them on short shopping sprees. To those who are not tech savvy, they explain how to use the mobile phone, how to use the computer, to browse the Net, and to use Skype for talking with their children who live abroad. They help the elders visit the bank, learn some of the functions which might be difficult for them to understand.
Udhavi has a band of committed volunteers ranging from the age of 18-83! Groups of volunteers are personally trained for assisting elders the UDHAVI way.
Sabita Ramakrishna has offered to assist my cycloton in aid of old age care ,Project Golden Sunset, in every way possible.
Sundera Gopalan is a super hero of sorts to seniors. She is no caped crusader, but when this 76-year-old grandma receives a distress signal- which in this case comes as a feeble cry for help from a lonely, sometimes suicidal, senior citizen – she swoops in, pallu pinned to save the day.
“I don’t do anything dramatic. I just engage in a conversation, crack a few jokes or take them for a walk in the park. And then I do it again. Twice a week at least for months, until they feel alive again,” says Sundera, who volunteers as a senior helping other seniors at the Dignity Foundation in Chennai, an organization helping the elderly lead active lives.
In the case of 85-year old Vedavalli Srinivasagopalan, it’s whenever she flies in from the US to visit her daughter. Vedavalli spends her day stitching pouches, handbags and handkerchiefs, which she sells to friends and neighbours, donating the proceeds to old-age homes.
For five years now, Chennai based Udhavi, an organization that assists elder, founded by 75 -year old Sabita Radhahrishna, has been working with a group of volunteers, most of who are in their seventies, to help other seniors with everything from a walk on the beach to a temple visit, assistance at the bank, sabha hopping or a shopping spree.
From a very inspiring article in the Times of India by Kamini Mathai.