Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Monday belonged to these elders, who forgot all their worries and laughed and sang. For one day, they forgot the islands of desolation old age have trapped them in. Colours returned to their lives, if only for a day. International Day of Older Persons did not go unnoticed in the city, as various agencies organised special programmes for those who have been forced out of the mainstream of society.

Those from seven old-age homes in and around the city came together at Greets Public School. They spent the day in mirth — trying to outdo one another in fancy dress competition and games such as passing the hat. Programmes were organised by HelpAge India, in association with the school.

On their part, the students of the school presented various programmes for their guests. But the best gesture that these children had on the special day was handing over Rs. 1.27 lakh they had collected to HelpAge India.

K.P. Radhakrishna Menon, former Ombudsman for Local Bodies, received the money from Almela Jamir, wife of S.C. Jamir, Governor of Goa.

Rajagiri College of Social Sciences-CASP (Community Aid and Sponsorship Programme) organised three programmes for elders on Monday. The day also marked the 10th anniversary of Pakalveedu, a centre at Kothad village for creating awareness about problems faced by the aged in our society. The anniversary and World Elders’ Day celebrations were held in association with the Taj Residency on the hotel premises.

Another programme was held at Red Cross Bhavan, Kakkanad, in association with the Kochi chapter of the Indian Red Cross Society, the district panchayat, the Edappally block panchayat and the Thrikkakkara grama panchayat. M.E. Hassianar, district panchayat member, inaugurated the meeting.

Nearly 240 participants were taken to an amusement park on the outskirts of the city, winding up a full day of celebrations and joy.