The initiative envisages formation of SAVE committees in schools interested in associating with the programme.

The message on its website - It’s cool to care – pretty much sums up the spirit behind the initiative.

Student Action for Value Education (SAVE), an initiative of Helpage India that was launched in schools in the State, and in the rest of India, on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons last year, aims at orienting the younger generation towards the many problems faced by their grandparents and the elderly.

“The aged are increasingly facing loneliness and neglect. The only solution to their problem is to encourage the younger generation to interact and spend time with their grandparents,” said Sino Antony, senior manager, Helpage India (Kochi Area).

The initiative envisages formation of SAVE committees in schools interested in associating with the programme.

Students, parents, teachers, and Helpage representatives will be part of the committees.

At present, about 38 schools in the State have signed up for the project.

“We have been conducting programmes aimed at creating awareness about the fragility and loneliness of the aged in schools across the State. We have already organised programmes in 20 schools in Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam districts during the first two months of this academic year,” Mr. Antony said.

There is no rigid criterion for becoming members of the committee except sensitivity to the needs of the agedSchools and committees can register on the website (www.hisave.org) which instantly connects them to a network of similar schools across the country. At present, there are 800 SAVE schools covering three lakh students.

SAVE committees can organise a slew of activities from conducting awareness campaigns about the problems faced by the aged and raising funds for them to getting first hand information about the problems of the elderly by visiting old age homes.

Helpage will lend support and guide the committees in their activities.

With hardly two months left for International Day of Older Persons, Helpage hopes that more schools and students from the State will indeed discover how cool it is to care for elders who are in the autumn of their lives and sign up for their laudable programme.

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