The programme aims to improve quality life of the senior citizens through self-help initiative and promoting community based care and support services by actively engaging the families and other stakeholders. Besides, it also strives to protect the rights of the senior citizens, promote livelihood among the active and semi-dependent senior citizens, guiding them to access health and welfare services and encourage them to participate fully in family and social life. This programme was launched in 2013 in two Panchayats of Idukki district viz. Chakkupallam and Erattayar the support of MISEREOR, Germany. Second phase of the the programme started in 2016 by expanding the programme to three more Panchayats viz. Kanchiyar, Kamakshi and Vandanmedu. 716 senior citizens were organized into 49 Elder’s Self Help Groups (ESHGs).
Major interventions in the project are:
- Formation of Elders SHGs
- Formation of Panchayat level federation of ESHGs
- Seed money to elder’s groups
- Medical camps
- Routine health checkups (diabetes, BP)
- Advocacy and lobbying
- Availing Social Security Schemes
- Promotion of Income generation activities
- Awareness classes promotion of physical, mental and spiritual health.
Success Story:Independent Life after Cataract Surgery
“Damodhran is 68 years old and lives together with his wife and the family of his youngest son in the Chakkuppallam Panchayat of the Idukki District. He is the father of five daughters and four sons who are all married. Earlier, he was working as a daily wager. His son had to look after his family as well as his parents but his earnings were not sufficient to provide for such a large family.
Damodhran joined an ESHG in January 2014. In spite of his eye problem he was very active in the group. It was very difficult for him to write in the ESHG’s books or even attend the meetings. Since he lived in a remote place it was also hard for him to get to the ESHG meetings during the rainy season.
As he could not attend most of the meetings and his cataract disease got worse, he became more and more isolated. This also caused his metal capacity to decrease. THen he attended a medical camp, organized by VOSARD. The doctors diagnosed cataract and suggested an immediate surgery. His operation was successful so that he got his sight back. He can now attend the ESHG meetings regularly and is a role model for other members. Mr. Due to awareness classes, conducted by VOSARD, Damodhran is now aware on the rights and social security schemes concering senior citizens. Starting to work again as a daily wager he is also contributing to the income of the family and leads a more independent life.”