Bengaluru

Proving that age is just a number

People taking part in a ‘paper bag challenge’ outside Manipal Centre in Bengaluru on Saturday.— Photo: Special Arrangement

People taking part in a ‘paper bag challenge’ outside Manipal Centre in Bengaluru on Saturday.— Photo: Special Arrangement  

Age — that number that almost always starts off as a guessing game based on the number of grey hair or wrinkles — was shrouded in a paper bag mystery on Saturday, coinciding with the International Day of Older Persons.

The ‘What’s my age!’ activity was an attempt at breaking stereotypes associated with ageism and reiterate the fact that age was just a number.

Organised by the Nightingales Medical Trust, the activity was part of a workshop, Connect Elders, Correct Ageism: A campaign to build a community of empowered elders through technology, which was among many events organised across the city to mark the day.

“Some people thought I was 60, some others 70. But I never think of my age at all. From the time I turned 60-years-old, I have played and exercised with youngsters also. Defeat is not failure. Inner-confidence and positivity are what keeps me going,” said a cheerful K.R. Srikanth, now 82-years-old.

He tries walking as much as possible, sometimes even five kilometres at a stretch.

In fact, following an active lifestyle is advocated by more than one senior citizen. Philip George (69), a social worker, said, “If you are active, you don’t age.”

He also pointed to the advantages of staying in touch with the “community” of elders. “One is single, two is a due, three or more is a community. You get to know more about yourself through others,” he added.

The role that technology can play too was discussed at length.

S. Sadagopan, Director, International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru, spoke about the elderly in India being one of the biggest users of social media platforms, primarily to communicate with their children abroad.

“It also means having knowledge at your fingertips,” said Vinay Vajander (64), formerly a banker.

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