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“Baghban' relived with Dignity An evening of Companionship for the Elderly. Feb 2016"

“As rightly depicted in the super-hit Hindi movie, Baghban, one needs to understand the needs and aspirations of the elderly. More than anything, they need companionship as they feel lonely,” said the celebrated lyricist and Baghban creator Sameer speaking during the panel discussion on ‘Companionship’ hosted by Dignity Foundation in Mumbai on Tuesday. Around 400 people, mostly Dignitarians, participated in the event with vigour. The seniors also took active part in a ramp walk in their best finery showcasing their zest for life. Dignity Foundation is the only comprehensive and long-standing NGO dealing with the socio-psychological challenges of senior citizens in India for over two decades.

“Companionship is more important than marriage as one needs to ward off a lot of negativism here,” believes Sujata Mehta, noted actress of Pratighat and Yateem fame, who herself is in a live-in relationship for over 20 years. Unlike in a marriage, a live-in relationship cannot be taken for granted, she said as a matter-of-fact. One needs to overcome a lot of difficulties in companionship and one needs to make a lot of adjustments, she said. The event was supported by Vasan Eyecare and Union Bank of India.

Respect for each other and understanding is primary in whichever relationship one chooses – formal or informal, said Ms Sheilu Sreenivasan, Dignity’s founder-president. Companionship itself is crucial regardless of the gender, and companionship becomes a must when one grows old, noted actress Deepti Naval emphasised.

“Love thyself so that you can love others” – was the eternal message for companionship that the qualified Theta healing master Dr Sangeeta Shah gave on the occasion. Mrs Earth International Mrs Maadhuri Sharma, who strongly believes in the concept of live-in relationship, said one needs to eat healthy so as to enjoy companionship. Swati Chauhan, legal expert with Pfizer, reiterated that, although the Indian government recognises live-in relationship, it has no legal standing. Seen from the perspective of children from previous marriage, they have nothing to worry vis-à-vis claim to property; hence new companionship/live-in relationship do not pose a threat monetarily, Ms Chauhan said.

Dignity NGO has studied that loneliness is a stress that can also be traumatic. It changes the production of hormones, function of body systems, contributes to the start or severity of diseases, and prolongs the amount of time it takes our bodies to heal. It is universally acknowledged that the elderly are a lonely age-group for several reasons: loss of spouse and friends, retirement, change of city/house and the flying away of one’s fledglings. One is left alone in the nest to fend for herself for yet another 1/3rd of her lifetime.

About Dignity Foundation:

Dignity Foundation provides social support services, knowledge, life enrichment, shelter and advocacy for senior citizens. Dignity has chapters spread across seven cities – Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Goa, Ahmedabad and Pune. It runs programs like: Helpline for senior citizens, Dementia Day Care Centre, Senior Citizens ID Card, Counselling Services, Companionship, Loneliness Mitigation Centres, Dignity on Wheels, Ration Service for poor senior citizens.


Asha Lal (COO) 9632906902
Kishore Shintre (CRO) 9967054218

“Dignity Retirement India Expo 2013

An exhibition of products and services from sectors like Banking, Senior Living, Healthcare and Travel and Tourism

Mumbai, 2nd September 2013 : Dignity Foundation, a leading NGO working for the welfare of senior citizens for over 18 years, is organizing Dignity Retirement India Expo 2013. Dignity Foundation provides an enriching and unique set of opportunities to the 50+ to lead a more dignified, secure, joyful and fulfilling life during their twilight years. The exhibition will showcase customised products and services that are much needed by the senior citizens. The expo is scheduled for, 6th & 7th September, 2013 at Nehru Centre from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Dignity Foundation is the first NGO who had taken this initiative way back in 2011 for the benefit of senior citizens. This year’s two-day exhibition and the events will include display of various kinds of products and services pertaining to life after retirement. Corporate stalls on display will include health insurance, fixed deposits and mutual funds, good homes for independent living, customized travel packages for senior citizens as well as medical / health products for physical assistance.

Apart from the corporate stalls, an Entertainment Zone for senior citizens is also being organized where various activities such as graphology, astrology, Tarot reading, handicraft, group singing, dancing, tai chi, etc will be conducted. There are special workshops that are going to be held for senior citizens where demo of new products and services along with learning sessions on holistic health, fitness, travel, writing and publishing will be conducted.

Dignity Foundation will be celebrating World Elders Day on the second day i.e. 7th September at the same venue from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The World Elders Day celebrations shall commence with cultural performances by senior citizens who are lovingly call Dignitarians by Dignity Foundation. This will be followed by speeches by the Chief Guest and then awards to senior citizens who have contributed to the society at large with their time and effort.

Dr. Sheilu Sreenivasan, Founder & President of Dignity Foundation says “Till a decade ago, Ageing in India was being treated as a social problem deserving empathetic solutions such as old age homes, free ashram shelters, free food supply addressing mainly the destitutes deserted by families. All that is being overtaken by a new vibrancy seen in the corporate sector. Longevity and better socio-economic indices of people over 50 are making companies take the initiative in India to introduce products and services specially customised to their needs. The retirement Expo was the first platform created for showcasing products and services for senior citizens by Dignity Foundation in 2011 and we are proud to successfully organize it once more.”

“This Expo is our advocacy with the corporate sector to recognize the special needs of senior citizens and design products for them. At the same time, this event brings together thousands of senior citizens to enjoy and get enriched by the special activities organized by Dignity Foundation.” adds Sonali Sinha, Chief Operating Officer, Dignity Foundation.

Dignity Foundation :
Dignity Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. It is also a Public Trust registered with the Charity Commissioner of Mumbai. In 1995 the activities of the Foundation were started with the publication of the magazine Dignity Dialogue. It grew into a service delivery organisation responding to the expressed needs conveyed by the senior citizens themselves.

Dignity Foundation is premised upon scientific developments in the fields of Geriatrics and Gerontology. It offers structural opportunities to exercise the choice of how to live healthy and active in chronologically advancing years. Headquartered at Mumbai, the Foundation has Chapters spread across Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune and Goa, as well as centres at in Mumbai.

By perennially lobbying with corporate bodies and the government it increases the quantum of facilities and amenities made available to the 50 +. The institutional goal is about reaching out to larger numbers in the country with an increasing amount of value additions to the basket it offers. The brilliant reality is the basket can only get more enriching since corporate India is showing a great deal of interest in senior citizens. Our discounts offer is testimony to this growth. We wish to distinguish ourselves as social entrepreneurs with capability to identify and empathise with need nuances of this demographically enlarging constituency.

Dignity Foundation to host “Companionship Carnival” for senior citizens

  A golden opportunity for senior citizens to build their social network

  To find friends and partners for life long companionship

Mumbai, 27 May 2013 : Dignity Foundation,a leading NGO that works for senior citizens, is holding a daylong event titled CAMPANIONSHIP CARNIVAL to promote social networking amongst senior citizens. It will help them find friends and partners for life-long companionship. The event is scheduled for Saturday, June 1, 2013 at Tejpal Hall, August KrantiMaidan, Gamdevi from11:00 am onwards. The event will start with nostalgic interactive games such as Lagori, Sakhali, KhoKho, GilliDandawhich will transport them to their childhood era and help them open up and relax.

This will be followed by a lively debate at 12noon on the topic “Live-In partnership as the upcoming trend amongst senior citizens”. This thought provoking topic will be debated by celebrity anchorslike RenukaShahane, SiddharthKak and Dolly Thakore.Visitors to the event will also get a chance to express their views and ask questions.

RenukaShahane, TV personality, states “I am delighted to be part of such an event which dwells into the latest trend of Live-in Relationship among senior citizens. Live-in relationship among the youth has become fairly common especially in large metros. But senior citizens are now opening up to this concept to deal with loneliness in their sunset year. The idea behind hosting such events is great as senior citizens need avenues to meet new people and forge relationships. Dignity Foundation is lending strength to this trend by offering senior citizens a dignified and enjoyable opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals.”

Kalyani Shah, Advocate, High Court and Family Court, will speak of legal implications or the absence of them in the Live-In Partnership practice. Her experience in mediating elder abuse cases have been of great value to Dignity Foundation's services to senior citizens who are in difficult circumstances.

Dr. SheiluSreenivasan, Founder & President of Dignity Foundation says “The trend of seeking companionship is not new. Senior citizens Bipin and Chhaya met at a Chai Masticentre run by Dignity Foundation in Grant Road and decided to get married in July 2006. But that was seven years ago! These days the ‘marriage’ part of the formality has been done away with, as older persons prefer to stay single but with a live-in companion sharing the same roof”.

Special workshops on productive ageing will also be conducted with the help of well known professionals such as SudhaMenon on Writing and Publishing; JamunaPai on Basics of Beauty, and Ayesha Broacha on Photography as Life. In the evening, a Fashion Show has been organized to showcase men and women parading to various themes as a platform for creative expressions. Beauty consultant JamunaPai and well- known theatre personality RaellPadamsee will be the chief Guests for the Fashion Show.

SonaliSinha,Chief Operating, Officer, Dignity Foundation states “I believe loneliness is one of the biggest challenges confronting senior citizens. Keeping this in mind we have organized a daylong event which will provide senior citizens many opportunities to interact, connect and develop friendship beyond their immediate circle. For all you know, many people may make life-long friends and companions.”

The event concludes with a Candle Light Dinner which starts from 7:00 onwards. Dignity Foundation has been working for senior citizens for over 18 years. Dignity offers senior citizens an enriching set of opportunities to lead a more dignified, secure, joyful and fulfilling life.

For any further details kindly contact us at 61381100 or