‘Jashn’ – India’s largest senior citizen sports, cultural festival

India’s Largest Senior Citizen Sports and Cultural festival – JASHN 2016, will kick off on Saturday 15th – October in Lavasa with an underline theme of “High on Life”.

Ashiana-Jashn-2015-Inter-Senior-Citizen-Games-7The two day event will witness participation of seniors from Ashiana’s five senior living communities namely Utsav Bhiwadi, Nirmay Bhiwadi, Utsav Jaipur, Shubham Chennai and Utsav Lavasa.

One of its kind events in India, Jashn will act as a dais for a whooping over 600 senior citizens’ aged 55-85 participating this year.

The sports competitions, cultural and creative activities will take place at the activity centre of Utsav Lavasa. The sports competition will include Table Tennis, Badminton, Carom, chess and walking competition.

And the cultural competitions will include singing, dancing and much more. Besides creative competitions such as Salad making and Rangoli making will also be there. To keep up with the fun momentum, a glittering ramp show will also be organized where senior citizen will walk the ramp. The panel of judges would comprise of teachers/principals from nearby schools. The event will close on Sunday, October 16 with an awards ceremony.

“The zeal and enthusiasm witnessed in last two Jashn 2014 was one of its kinds and in Jashn 2015 it got even better. It’s so much fun to watch senior citizens performing; participating having fun and creating so much energy that it could put many college fests to shame. It’s the energy and participation of the senior’s which as a group keeps us motivated and organizes it every year.” says Ankur Gupta, Managing Director, Ashiana Housing Ltd.

“For those where everything is black and white, adrenaline rush at any age is exciting! Now is the time to do the things you love. I am very excited and looking forward for the two day event as I am certain the third edition like the last two will take excitement fervor to the hilt,” said Amita Shaw, Resident, Ashiana Utsav Bhiwadi and one of the participants.

Elders week: Chennai Metro falls flat on Accessibility

Metro-gettingdown_3031140gThe first week of October is marked as Elders week and a lot of programs are conducted around the country to highlight the fact that there is an elderly segment of population still living in India.

Pensioners Associations, senior citizens bureaus, Probus clubs, and several private organizations working in the senior citizens sector have been announcing various cultural and informative programs for the said elders.

While these organizations and their programs do bring elders and their issues to the fore, however transiently, whether any permanent improvements are happening is yet to be determined.

One telling article in Hindu illustrates the general apathy of Indians and the Indian Government when it comes to elders and accessibility issues.  This article documents the study conducted by the Disability Rights Alliance on the Airport Metro rail station in Chennai, a building that has just been completed.  Here are some of the results:

1. Entry issues

For Smitha Sadasivan, getting into the station itself was a challenge as the ramp was not level with the ground. Also, the ramp from the parking lot was steep and had no handrails, activists said.

2. Gaps in staircases

Gopi Krishnan and M. Veerappan, who have low vision, noted that there were gaps between the stairs, where their canes slipped in. “It makes us nervous when climbing up,” said Mr. Krishnan.

3. Incomplete signage

Signage was unclear and in many places, incomplete, the tactile paths were patchy and in the bathroom for the disabled, the flush behind the toilet could not be easily reached. Also, there was a difference in the level of the flooring at the entrance, making it hard to get in and out, said B. Meenakshi, an activist.

4. Levels of difference

On the platform, the tactile path did not extend towards the train, and wheelchair users had difficulty getting in due to the difference in the levels of the train and the platform. The warning strip on the platform near the train was inadequate for visually impaired persons using canes, the members said.

5. Lost in the lift

At Nanganallur, the team had problems due to lack of signage, inaccessible drinking water facilities and nobody answering the help button at the lift, said Sudha Ramamoorthy, a DRA member, “Also, there was no announcement of the doors opening and closing in the lift and the music is quite loud, making it difficult to hear anything when the help button is pressed,” she said.

6. A mixed bag

There was some progress though, said Vaishnavi Jayakumar, a DRA member. “The floor is not as slippery as it was at Alandur, making it easier for those on crutches, and it is of a different colour. The ticket counters are lower and more easily reachable and the ticket vending machines are also somewhat accessible. However, persons with visual impairment cannot use them,” she said.

To read the full article, go here.

 

Elders week – Accessibility still out of reach

polling-stationIndia’s first accessibility audit failed to find a single public building or place that was completely accessible to people with disability!

That the first accessibility audit has been conducted decades after Independence is in itself a telling fact.  However, even this would not have happened except for PM Narendra Modi’s push for an accessible India.

The first phase of audit, launched across 31 cities as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet initiative Accessible India, threw up shocking results, revealing appalling state of toilets and other facilities for persons with disabilities in public buildings, hospitals, railway stations and educational institutions, and half-hearted attempts at building ramps in the name of accessibility.

The department of empowerment of persons with disabilities (Divyangjan) had entrusted the task of auditing public buildings across 31 cities to 11 empanelled auditors.

You can read more about it here.