Bhubaneswar: In a bid to give recognition to senior citizens and provide them with a hospitable society, a state-level function was organised by the Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department at Utkal Mandap here, Monday.
A yoga camp was also organised at IG Park to promote fitness among the elderly. Odia film star Sabyasachi Mishra also joined around 500 senior citizens in the camp.
The yoga camp was then followed by walk from IG Park to Utkal Mandap which was flagged off by SSEPD Minister Ashok Chandra Panda. Extending his good wishes to the elderly people, the minister said, “The government is mulling to ensure more coverage under social security assistance scheme along with Madhbabu Pension Yojana.”
Concluding the event, Panda said, “The district rehabilitation centres are being developed and integrated to provide extensive services to older persons. The contributions of older persons are of utmost importance as they are important stakeholders in the socio-economic growth of the state.”
This apart, about 1,500 senior citizens, who had assembled at Utkal Mandap, saw the event graced by Bhaskar Jyoti Sarma, Commissioner-cum-Secretary SSEPD; Bratati Harichandan, Director, SSEPD; Sudhanshu Sarangi, Commissioner of Police and Ananta Narayan Jena, MLA, Bhubaneswar-Central.
“The responsibility of service and security to the senior citizens is increasing by the day for the police. We have requested the government to provide us with required manpower and resources to cater to the needs of the elderly. But presently we have to manage with whatever we have at hand and do our best to provide best care for them,” said Sarangi.
The event also saw distinguished senior citizens and associations being recognised with ‘Bayojyestha Samman’ for their lifetime achievement and outstanding services to the causes of older persons. Amongst the others, Debananda Patra, 88, of Ganjam was awarded lifetime achievement award for sports and adventure giving a new definition to ‘age is just a number.’
Meanwhile, Katak Baristha Nagarika Mahasabha was felicitated as the ‘Best Institution’ for providing services to senior Citizens and Awareness Generation. Narasingh Prasad Guru from Bolangir was feted for Lifetime Achievements in (Humanities). Golakanath Behera, Rayagada was felicitated for his contributions to the field of aging. The organisation and the individuals were given a cash award of Rs 15,000 each.