Bhubaneswar: Minister of SSEPD, Mr. Prafulla Samal, today inaugurated Odisha’s first state-supported multi-activity centre for senior citizens, ‘Anand’, at Nayapalli in Bhubaneswar. ‘Anand’ has been developed by the Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Department (SSEPD), Government of Odisha, in consultation with the Tata Trusts and implemented by HelpAge India. Mr.H.S.D Srinivas, Director –Health, Tata Trusts, and Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, Mission Head –Age Care, HelpAge India were also present at the inauguration.
The objective of the centre is to address various needs of the elderly by developing a model of active engagement and awareness about health and wellness that will improve their quality of life. It will also facilitate happy ageing through recreational and learning activities and by providing a platform for socialization. Furthermore, the facility aims to encourage member citizens to, in turn, organise medical camps, and provide timely counselling and medical support to senior citizens belonging to BPL families as well.
Commenting on the development, Mr. Prafulla Samal, Honorable Minister, Dept. of SSEPD, said, “The number of senior citizens in India is gradually increasing and ‘Anand’ is the Government of Odisha’s first step towards giving them the care they deserve. I thank the Tata Trusts and HelpAge India for playing a critical role in making this happen. Through Anand, we aim to improve the quality of life for our senior citizens and equip them with skills in multiple spheres. It is through such initiatives that we believe we can bring joy and purpose to the lives of our senior citizens.”
Mr. H.S.D. Srinivas, Tata Trusts, said, “At this day and age, it is essential that the needs of the senior citizens are looked into, they are treated respectfully, and with dignity. The multi-activity centre will ensure a high level of self-satisfaction, better relationships with family members and better quality of life of the elderly.”
Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, HelpAge India, said “Ageing is inevitable, but should be lived with dignity and security. Through this Centre we aim to provide elders not just means to a healthy living, but also to empower and engage them, so they live happy & independent lives and are not socially isolated.”
Among the other dignitaries present at the inauguration were Mr. Susanta Mohapatra, Director, SSEPD, Ms. Susmita Bagchi, Eminent Writer, Mr. Priyadarshi Mishra, MLA, Mr. Manashirani Sundaray, Corporator, Nayapalli, Mr. Ananta Narayan Jena, Mayor, Bhubaneswar and Mr. Prasanna Patasani, Member of Parliament.
Following a MoU signed between Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Department (SSEPD), Government of Odisha, and the Tata Trusts in January, 2018, this centre is a step towards developing Bhubaneswar as an ‘age-friendly’ city in line with Odisha’s Senior Citizens Policy 2016.