A two-day festival Celebrating Age India Expo 2012 concluded here recently with many senior citizens walking in to find out about exclusive housing facilities, reverse mortgage of property, health issues and possibilities of getting re-employed.
Pushpalatha Srinivasan (66), who spends her spare time reading books and researching various topics relating to senior citizens, said that the concept of an exclusive fair for people like her was interesting. “If the government or NGOs can plan such activities in a localised manner, it would spare the elderly of travel to the centre of the city,” she said.
“The talk by Dr. Natarajan on health problems relating to old age was very interesting. I will be retiring next year and I came to look at what this fair is about,” said Sampath Raghavan, a resident of Korattur, who had come with his wife to look at various products on offer.
74-year-old K. Srinivasamoorthy, who retired from the Cooperative Department, presented two Bharatanatyam concerts. There were sessions on Reiki, yoga, music, tambola, musical chair, laughter sessions, health talks, presentations and bhajans too. “I keep myself active. I act in serials including ‘Thirumathi Selvam’, ‘Shivashankari’ and ‘Azhagi’,” he said.
At the Star Union Dai–ichi Life Insurance and Central Bank of India counter, several senior citizens evinced interest in learning about reverse mortgage. Paul Puliken, Assistant Manager (Credit) said that there were at least 50 such persons in Chennai who had chosen to go for reverse mortgage and not depend on their children. “The advantage is that they can lead happy lives and they would get regular income from the mortgage and they can redeem the property at any point of time,” he explained.
As part of the expo, a free eye check-up was conducted by Sankara Nethralaya. Soorya Sridhar, a doctor at one of the stalls that offered basic check ups, said that many of the senior citizens came with hypertension and diabetics. “There were some persons whose BP was not monitored. Some of them had high BP and we made sure that they took proper care of themselves.”
Janaki Raman of Vision India, organiser, said that there was a need for re-skilling senior citizens to make them adapt to jobs in the market. “Many of them think they can just present their resume and get a job. That is not possible. Insurance companies offer jobs as agents. There are many senior citizens who take them and also succeed,” she said.