‘Vayojana Varsham 2019’ was a year-long programme organized by the Sargakshetra ‘Santhwanam’- Senior Citizens Forum as a part of their “Santhwana Sparsham ” initiative. This initiative was inaugurated on January 5 2019 by Mar. Thomas Tharayil, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese Changanacherry. ‘VayojanaVarsham 2019’ aimed at the holistic betterment of the senior citizens who are in need of love and care, especially the ones who live as inmates in different old age homes. As part of this service initiative, the members of the Senior Citizens Forum visited various old age homes across the year. During these visits Sargakshetra was able to offer comforting hands to around 1500 inmates who were neglected and marginalized by their families and society for various reasons. The valedictory function of this year-long initiative was conducted by the Senior Citizens Forum from February 24 2020 – February 29 2020 at the St. Chavara Nagar in association with ‘Sargakshetra Pakalveedu’.
The valedictory function was a one-week event aimed at providing a memorable day for the neglected inmates from different old age homes, honouring the individuals who have unconditionally dedicated their lives for the functioning of these old age homes and for conducting various games and orientation seminars for the senior citizens.
· Day One: The first day of the programme started with various competitions for the senior citizens at the Sargakshetra St. Chavara Nagar under the supervision of the Games Committee. The competitions for the day were Cards Play, Carroms and Badminton. Around hundreds of competitors registered for various competitions which were judged by experts in the specific field. Simultaneously, there was a seminar for the senior citizens at 10.30 a.m. in the Sargakshetra Seminar Hall. The seminar was led by Mr. Jeffin Jo Thomas, Learning Designer, on the topic; ‘An Introduction to the Practicalities of Social Media’. The first day of the event concluded with a visual treat, a drama by kanjirappally Amala Communications’ named “Dooram”- organised by the Sargakshetra Fine Arts Society.
· Day Two: The second day of the programme was also a treat for the senior citizens with fun filled games and an informative seminar. The day started with continuing the games from the last day along with various other competitions. A seminar was also arranged at 10.30 which were led by Dr. Jolly K James on the topic “The Rights Of Senior Citizens”. The seminar was informative to know about different government plans for the welfare of the senior citizens and various other welfare initiatives for them. The program came to a conclusion with this seminar and games.
· Day Three: The third day continued with various games from the last days along and with the other competitions, 1 KM walking and Music. The third day also contained an informative seminar by Dr. Neena Jacob from Medlounges Hospital, Thiruvalla. The seminar was about the various mental and physical illnesses during old age and how to handle the illness with proper care and medication. The various topics for the seminar include: Hypertension –Management, Loneliness & Depression in old age – How to enhance your mental health and many other topics significant for the elderly. The games and seminars came to an end on the third day.
· Day Four: As part of the valedictory function of ‘Vayojana Varsham 2019’ Sargakshetra Senior Citizens Forum in coordination with the Women’s Forum organized a ‘Snehavirunne’ for the inmates from different old age homes. Mar Thomas Tharayil, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese Changanacherry, blessed the occasion with his presence and speech, which was followed by the ‘snehavirunne’. The day was made even more memorable by the dance performance and ‘SangeethaVirunne’ by Sargakshetra Pakal veedu and Kalasahithya Vedi members. Senior citizens above the age of 90 were also honoured during the programme. The programme that stood out from all others was the performances by the inmates. St Chavara Nagar stage of Sargakshetra witnessed the talented inmates from various old age homes exhibiting their talents with a filled heart and stomach. The event came to an end by handing over various gifts including bed sheets to the dignitaries who run these old age homes.
· Day Five: On the second last day of the programme, Sargakshetra Senior Citizens forum organized a medical camp for the senior citizens. This free medical check-up was organized in association with Medlounges Healthcare, Thiruvalla. Doctors from various expert fields, Ayurveda and allopathy, were present to provide free medical check-ups for the senior citizens. The medical camp included free eye check-up and physiotherapy sessions. The camp also offered reduction in the prices of check –up. Around 150senior citizens made use of this opportunity.
· Day Six: The ‘Vayojana Varsham 2019, initiated since last year, was concluded on the final valedictory function inaugurated by Sri. P.Sreeramakrishnan, Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly.