As the country slowly steps towards some form of normalcy amidst the pandemic, this Diwali, non-governmental organization HelpAge India working for disadvantaged elders, celebrates the festival of lights with a message of hope and togetherness through its campaign and film, ‘Andhero Se Roshini Tak.’
In a marathon celebration, HelpAge marks the festival across 100 old age homes across the country, bringing happiness, hope, and joy to senior citizens, many of who were suffering from isolation, loneliness, and a sense of abandonment during the pandemic. The campaign aims to bring them back into the fold and give them a ray of hope and support them.
The campaign highlights the impact of the pandemic on India‘s elders vis a vis their health, livelihood and the pervading sense of loneliness and feeling of being forgotten by their own, as social distancing, led to social isolation for many of our elders who were left to fend for themselves.
According to a survey done by HelpAge earlier this year, 36% elders at home in India ‘were just waiting for the phone to ring’. During the first lockdown, 65% of elders lost their only source of livelihood, leaving them with no resources for medicines and no one to reach out to.
The core campaign message – Khushyion per hain unqa bhi haq, Iss Diwali le chalo Bado ko, Andhero Se Roshini Tak urges the younger generation and society at large, to bring hope, light and ‘Roshini’ back into the lives of elders. It encourages bringing elders back into the family fold and pushes for elder inclusion. A time to give back and spread the love, and reach out to those elders who have no one to call their own and support them.
“Diwali is a time synonymous with hope, positivity and togetherness. The pandemic took a heavy toll on the lives of our elderly, particularly to the disadvantaged. Identified as the most vulnerable, many faced challenges at multiple levels, from loss of livelihood, to having no money, no support and were left with a deep sense of isolation and constant anxiety. For those living alone, it was even worse. We hope through this campaign #AndheroSeRoshiniTak we can sensitize people to urgently come forward and celebrate this festival in its truest sense, by sharing the light and love with those who need it most. It is our responsibility to bring light into their lives, it’s time to give back.” said Rohit Prasad, Chief Executive Officer, HelpAge India.