Day before yesterday evening, On 15th June I went to an Event organised by Silver Innings Foundation an NGO. occasion was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2015. There was a Walkathon and an Audio Visual release scheduled to mark the occasion at the Dada Dadi Park in Borivli.
For me it was my first ever event of Silver Innings Foundation as one of their newest team member. I was meeting and greeting for the first time the people behind the cause. As mostly my contribution till now was through online blogs etc. for their Helpline. I met Sailesh Misra the founder of the whole initiative Silver Innings and Snehanjali, brimming with enthusiasm and energy. Ramaa Subramanian the innovative co-founder also my mentor, tireless and ever smiling was already with me. The voice behind the helpline Laxmi, The two tireless volunteers to the cause Arpita Vora and Hira Mehta. I had no preconceived notions about the event but still was expecting a subdued maybe even a bit bored turnout. At the beginning of it people started trickling in the venue, The Dome, majestic hall like structure with multiple step like seating surrounded by the lovely park. Sailesh was already there setting up the venue giving it last finishing touches. Suddenly it seemed the place came alive with lot of energy. I looked up and saw lots of smiling and determined faces enquiring about the walkathon organised for the WEAAD with lots of banners and placards proclaiming the cause of Elder friendly society and to stop isolation and abuse of the elderly.
We all proceeded towards the entrance to start the walk. And what a walk it was ! The procession was led by young kids with banners which read “Youth for Senior Citizen” and “Only Love Care and Respect for the Elderly”. I couldn’t see the end of the crowd walking for the cause. The voices raised were not timid or defeated. The energy was infectious with Sailesh leading the sloganeering and vociferous followers outdoing him. We reached the venue with lot of fanfare and some filmy style slogan raising too for good fun. First item on agenda was tying Purple Rakhis to the elderly symbolising our promised protection to seniors. Sailesh and Arpita made the audience present aware about the reason and solution to the problem of Elderly Abuse. And also the symbolism of Purple colour and Purple Heart for the cause was explained by them. The surroundings were teeming with people in Purple and Purple Balloons and Purple Hearts and Ribbons. During all this a group of children performed a series of artful dances choreographed by talented Sneha Mehta Shah, which were much appreciated by the spectators who also turned enthusiastic participants. Then was the turn for the AV release of the day. “Pichheyy Ka Kamra”, an audio visual presentation of the cause with a moving poem by Anshuman Bhagwat narrated by Darrpan Mehta in his wonderful baritone. The response was amazing with request for repeat play.
Few of the elderly then came forward to share their advice and experience. It was very moving and motivating. Sombre atmosphere required cheer which was provided by Jimmy Dordi who started the program of karaoke singing by the elderly participants. Wow!! what a revelation of talent that was. Amazing performances one after the other by talented singers like Deepak Sagar, Harendra Bengali, Manharbhai, Sunil Kansara and no one could resist the energy of the atmosphere. Dance masti became order of the day with everyone shaking a leg or two to Shammi Kapoor classics with twists and turns to shame youngsters half their age. The evening reluctantly came to an end with one young elderly singing to our team “Ruk Ja o Janey waley ruk jaa”.
A beautiful end to a beautiful evening with beautiful people. An evening to remember for a long time for a cause well worth.