New Delhi (India), May 25: National Statistical Office (NSO)’s Elderly in India 2021 report has underlined that the country’s elderly population, aged 60+, is estimated to touch 194 million in 2031 from 138 million in 2021. This is a 41 per cent increase over a decade.
This demographic shift presents a unique set of challenges, particularly regarding the well-being of senior citizens.
Besides food security, decent lodging, health benefits and psychological support, recreational activities play a vital role in maintaining their overall well-being. Such events have added value to the lives in old age homes. Because they are generally found to suffer from depression and loneliness, entertainment is known to play a crucial role in mood upliftment.
Seniors not provided opportunities to indulge in such activities are more prone to chronic diseases and premature death, amplifying the negative impact on their mental health and overall well-being. Social interaction is particularly vital for the elderly, and without consistent engagement with others, seniors will suffer.
On the other hand, active seniors experience numerous benefits, including improved physical health, increased stamina, enhanced mood, and reduced mental fatigue. Recreational activities serve as therapeutic outlets, positively impacting their cognitive and emotional welfare, allowing them to let go of their troubles and fostering companionship and camaraderie.
Old-age homes must prioritise leisure activities to ensure seniors have regular chance for engagement activities. By providing recreational opportunities, they can combat these negative emotions and improve their quality of life. Vridhcare, a New Delhi-based non-profit organization with a pan-India presence, is working toward making a difference, even if it is small, to the lives of senior citizens, particularly the underprivileged communities. They focus on building connections and providing opportunities for seniors to engage in social activities that promote their overall well-being.
One such initiative is their collaboration with Cinema on Wheels, an innovative organisation that brings the entertainment of movies to remote locations in India through a unique concept. With only 9 screens available per million people in India, there is a significant need for accessible cinema in rural and suburban areas.
To address this challenge, Cinema on Wheels has created an ultra-modern digital movie theatre for up to 50 people inside a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that can be moved to different locations, bringing the experience of a multiplex cinema to the doorstep of communities. Through their association with Vridhcare, Cinema on Wheels has focused on getting this experience to the elderly population residing in 56 age homes across Rajasthan. Arvind Tungaria, the Founder of Cinema on Wheels, stated, “We were amazed to see the impact of our digital movie theatre on the elderly. Through our collaboration with Vridhcare, we witnessed people watching movies after decades due to limited resources, and it was heartwarming to see the joy it brought to them. While we primarily focus on children, this partnership has allowed us to serve the elderly who are often lonelier and in greater need of entertainment to lift their spirits. We are privileged to align our objective of serving the society at large with Vridhcare’s mission.”
The collaboration between Vridhcare and Cinema on Wheels exemplifies the power of partnerships in addressing social challenges. By working together, these organisations have bridged the gap in access to entertainment for the elderly population in remote areas and given them a platform to engage with their peers. This initiative exemplifies how organisations can leverage each other’s strengths and resources to achieve common goals. Age and illness should not hinder seniors from enjoying life to the fullest.
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