Getting older is difficult, especially for the poor. In addition to the normal ravages of old age, the elderly poor must cope with resource scarcity, malnutrition, lack of income, and insufficient medical facilities, especially in rural areas. On Monday, to bring attention these issues, GRAVIS held a national level workshop on ageing and development, focusing specifically on healthcare aspects.
The workshop highlighted the progress of a project called “Promoting Older People-Led Community Action” or POC, which is implemented by GRAVIS and supported by Help Age International and the European Union. These organizations also sponsored Monday’s event. The POC project has almost reached the culmination of its five-year span, having benefited older people in the Thar through a diverse set of activities, including rainwater harvesting, farming, income generation, capacity building, advocacy, and health. The workshop showcased the project’s health-related activities while also exploring more broadly the challenges of growing older in low-income rural areas.
Speakers included the Mayor of Jodhpur (Mr. Rameshwar Dadhich), international representatives from Help Age International, doctors from several parts of India, GRAVIS leadership, and the principal of Dr. S.N. Medical College (Dr. Arvind Mathur), who delivered the keynote speech. They covered subjects such as ageing in Indian society, non-communicable diseases, and geriatrics academia. At the end of the workshop, community members had a chance to share their views and experiences.
Over 120 people attended the event.