‘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.

Oldest women (born in the 1800s)

n-OLDEST-large570We can all agree that it’s a great feat to live to be 100 — but it’s an even greater feat if you live well, well past it. Believe it or not, the five oldest people in the world today were all born in the 1800s! These supercentenarians, as they’re called, have lived through world wars, the sinking of the Titanic, the space race and much much more.   Read the original article here.

The old serve the young

In a role reversal, a few seniors in Besant Nagar are caring for youngsters. L. KANTHIMATHI on their initiatives in The Hindu.


We tend to picture senior citizens as helpless and leaning heavily on others. And therefore, we are surprised when we see them serve people considerably younger than themselves.

And I should admit I was more than surprised to discover such a group of seniors in Besant Nagar.

Senior Citizens Group of Besant Nagar, founded in 2012, collects and distributes books to college students. Chandrasekhar, honorary president of the forum, says, “We sent a press release about our initiative to neighbourhood tabloids and made a few calls — that’s all it took to get started. Many came forward to donate their books. Many students from families with low incomes came to receive these free books.”

To read more go here.

Advice From a 101 Year Old Doctor

hinoharaDr Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators. Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College of Nursing. After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo; thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy; the doctor turned these institutions into the nation’s top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations. Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including one “Living Long, Living Good” that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself.

Energy: Dr Shigeaki Hinohara says energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.

Longevity: Dr Shigeaki Hinohara said all people who live long regardless of nationality, race or gender share one thing in common: None are overweight…

Diet: For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.

Always plan ahead: My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work. In 2016 I’ll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics! There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old. Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100…

Share what you know: I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong.

Treatment: When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.

 Health and wellbeing: To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.

Inspiration: My inspiration is Robert Browning’s poem “Abt Vogler.” My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.

Pain: Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain. Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke’s we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.

Material things: Don’t be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: You don’t know when your number is up, and you can’t take it with you to the next place.

Preparedness: Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors. We designed St. Luke’s so we can operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel. Most people thought I was crazy to prepare for a catastrophe, but on March 20, 1995, I was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. We accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly we lost one person, but we saved 739 lives.

 Science: Science alone can’t cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.

Incidents and opportunities: Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when I was 59 years old, I boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and as Mount Fujicame into sight, the plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis.

Role model: Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. My father went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University in North Carolina. He was a pioneer and one of my heroes. Later I found a few more life guides, and when I am stuck, I ask myself how they would deal with the problem. It’s wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.

Source: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20090129jk.html

Senior Heroes – Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan

Ustad_Abdul_RashidThe grand old man from the Gwalior Gharana, Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan is 105 years old and still composing, writing poetry and performing on the big stage.  Born in August 1908,  in Salon qasba, about 24 kms from Rae Bareli district, he started training under his dad Chhote Yusuf Khan from the age of 8.  According to Chhote Yusuf Khan, they are direct descendents of the legendary Tansen from Akbar’s court.

Today the doyen has over 2500 compositions to his credit.  He is also a prolific writer and poet using “Rasan Piya” as his pseudonym.

When asked about the secret of his longevity and his amazing energy levels, he says “I frankly don’t know how this miracle works. Only God knows where I find this energy”.

The oldest living classical artiste – and the oldest Padma Awardee, this wizard vocalist continues to enthrall lakhs of his followers in India and around the world!

Senior Heroes – Ingvar Kamprad

ingvar_kampradI read an article recently about the founder of IKEA and the world’s 8th richest man estimated to be worth 15.7 Billion GBP. One incident stood out!  Below I am quoting the article

Recently, a statue of him was erected in his Swedish home town, and he was invited to cut the ribbon. It was reported that instead he untied it, folded it neatly and handed it to the mayor, telling him he could now use it again.

While we may think that he is tight-fisted, another way to look at it is how the previous generation lived while keeping their carbon footprint (even though the term was not even invented then!) low.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-559487/He-lives-bungalow-flies-easyJet-dries-times-year–man-founded-Ikea-worth-pound-15bn.html#ixzz2LJkORsLc

Zohra Sehgal – 100 years and going strong

zohraThe grand old lady of Indian Cinema, Zohra Sehgal — famous for her vivaciousness and enthusiasm — turned 100 on April 27. Sehgal currently resides in Delhi with her daughter, Kiran Sehgal, and the sprightly actor’s zest for life is still intact.

She started her career in 1935 as a leading dancer with the Uday Shankar Ballet Company and traveled the world over. In 1945, she joined Prithviraj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatre group as an actor on a monthly salary of Rs 400. She worked with him for almost 14 years.

During this period, she married a fellow dancer, Kameshwar Sehgal. After having acted in several plays, she made her film debut in Indian People’s Theatre Association’s (IPTA) first film, Dharti Ke Lal (1946), which was directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas.

Her passion for the art won her a drama scholarship in Great Britain in 1962. In the late ’70s she was rediscovered by the makers of British TV shows and films. Following serials such as Jewel in the Crown, My Beautiful Launderette and Tandoori Nights, her sense of humour and candour became very popular. Movies such as Bhaji on the Beach and Merchant Ivory Productions’ The Courtesans of Bombay enhanced her popularity in the West.  She returned to India in the ’90s and continued her acting career with TV serials such as Amma and Family. She has also acted in big bollywood block busters including Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Dil Se, Tera Jaadu Chal Gaya and Saawariya.

We wish her many more years of active life.

Never too late for anything…

s-NOLA-OCHS-PHOTO-largeMs. Nola Ochs at the age of 98 became the oldest person to receive a masters degree. Hailing from Kansas, USA, she earned a general studies degree with an emphasis in history, from Fort Hays University, graduating alongside her granddaughter, Alexandra Ochs, who was 21 years old at the time in 2010.

She also holds the record for being the oldest (at the age of 95) to get a Bachelors degree which she earned in 2007.

Tamae Watanabe(73) – Oldest person to conquer Mt. Everest

Tamae Watanabe

Oldest person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest

On 19th May 2012, Tamae Watanable, at the age of 73, conquered Mt. Everest and became the oldest person to reach the top of the highest peak in the world.  She bettered her own record set 10 years earlier.

Tamae Watanabe reached Everest’s 8,850-meter-high (29,035-foot-high) summit from the northern side of the mountain in Tibet on Saturday morning at about 7 AM after having started on the last leg at 8:30 PM the previous evening with four other team members.

We salute the indomitable spirit of this sprightly 73 year old.  To put things in perspective, only about 4000 people have ever successfully reached to top of Mt. Everest so far in the history of mankind.

Fauja Singh – Age is just a number

Marathon RunnerThe Hindu is carrying an article today (23rd of Sept. 2012) on one of our more famous seniors in the world today – Fauja Singh.   Born more than 100 years ago (1911, unverified), he has been competing in and more importantly completing marathons for many years now.

He was in the news most recently for carrying the Olympic torch, a fitting privilege for a fantastic athlete.  Earlier in 2011, he completed The Toronto Waterfront full marathon in 8 hrs and 11 minutes, becoming the first 100 year old to complete any marathon.  And to think he started training for his first marathon only in his mid 80’s!

The only reason he is not featured in the Guinness Book of World Records is because he does not have a birth certificate – something that was not regularly recorded at the turn of last century in India.

A hero among Sikhs and for all senior citizens, he has proved again and again that age is just another number!