Karnataka

Prakash Raj promises to be the ‘face’ of dementia

At the latter part of his illustrious life, noted film-maker K. Balachander was slowly becoming the subject of ridicule among those who mocked his “forgetfulness”, said actor Prakash Raj, who looked up to the director as his “guru”.

“People used to call me up to make fun of him, telling me my guru was talking unrelated stuff. I was saddened by the mockery,” he said at a public forum to destigmatise dementia, here on Sunday.

Though Balachander was not diagnosed with dementia, the incident served as a reminder that society around him lacked sensitivity about senility and dementia, he said. “We are what we are because of our memory. So, imagine this memory being wiped off,” said Mr. Raj.

Over the last three days, more than 600 delegates attended the conference ‘Dementia 2018’, organised by Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India and Nightingales Medical Trust, in the city.

Mr. Raj, who touched a personal chord during his speech, promised to become the “face” of dementia and spread awareness through his films and writings.

Paola Barbarino, CEO of Alzheimer’s Disease International, said only the government had the powers to make a large-scale difference in addressing the diseases in the country. “The country has 1.3 billion inhabitants and if any work to address dementia happened, it would make a huge difference for the rest of the world,” she said.

The conference, which was conducted at Indian Institute of Science, also saw several competitions for schoolchildren on different themes.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:32:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/prakash-raj-promises-to-be-the-face-of-dementia/article24963056.ece

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