From the blog

The travails of old age

Saying "Yesterday' s seventy is today's fifty or sixty " Dr. Sridhar Vaitheeswaran brought a lot of cheer to the elders attending a program organised by UDHAVI, an NGO focussing on elder care, and catering to the primary needs of the senior citizens.. Dr. Sridhar is trained in Old Age Psychiatry in Scotland, a specialist in Urban Mental Health Needs and currently Head of the Department of Dementia care in SCARF.


India is greying and the average lifespan increased. According to a 2013 report by the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) India has around 100 million elders at present, and is likely to shoot up to 323 million contributing to about 20 % of the population by 2050. The Government would be well advised to start framing policies for elder care right now. Formerly the elders lived with the family and the youngsters deemed it their responsibility to look after them till the very end.

Happiness - A choice

The subject is binary --- either we can choose to be happy or we can choose to be unhappy - Is there a middle ground as the famous tamiz song says “Silar sirippaar , silar azuvaar, silar siriththuu konde azhugindrar”? (Loosely translated it means “some laugh, some cry, while some laugh while sad/crying internally). The third is a camouflage to hide the pain inside and the poet here must be exercising his/her poetic licence.

Financial Planning for the elderly and by the elderly

Routinely a number of articles appear in newspapers and magazines about the problems of the elderly. They usually focus on the various illnesses that plague them or the loneliness and depression they face. We do not see too many articles on their finance. We are not talking about saving for the future but about handling the existing finance to take care of their needs during their life time.

The Silver Battle During COVID

Indeed, Coviditus has become a boring subject. The trajectory of change in a fast moving technologically advanced world has left us all impoverished both in terms of economy and health. The print media and the electronic media swell with information on spiralling cases and horror stories which are bone chilling. There is no one who can truthfully say that he or she is unaffected. Some of us, are lucky to have roti, kapda and makaan, while the underprivileged battle on bravely, with no light at the end of the tunnel.

An Icon

When does one become an icon – difficult to say but as a general rule I think when there are some outstanding qualities worth emulating. I believe you don’t have to be a famous personality, be in media focus or be extraordinarily accomplished to be an icon. We just need to look among people who are in our circle of acquaintance to find them. Little do we realise that a life well lived with integrity, enthusiasm and character is in itself an accomplishment. It sounds very easy but many of us know it takes a lot of balanced approach to achieve it.

UDHAVI's beneficiary Kamakshi Amma

Neighbourhood elderly activist felicitated by Governor of Tamil Nadu. While there are several voices that campaign for resolving the issues of the neighbourhood, the strongest among them is undoubtedly that of Kamashi Subramaniam, a resident of Besant Nagar.

UDHAVI's beneficiary Rajalakshmi Amma

UDHAVI's beneficiary, sprightly Rajalakshmi Amma well in to her eighties, being taken for a walk in the beach by Core group member Sachu... here she is enjoying her potato swirls by the sea.

UDHAVI honours Mrs. Kamakshi Subramaniam

How would you describe an average Tambram elderly lady – “slightly stooped in a Chinnalam pattu or Chungudi sari, doing the rounds of temples in the neighbourhood, attending Kathakalakshebam and free Kutcheries.”

Visit to Vishranthi

We have often heard it being said that when you give, the giver gets far more joy than the receiver. The joy of giving multiplies many fold when the 'giving' is spontaneous, and done without any expectation.