Tina Ambani, the wife of Reliance Industries vice-chairman and managing director Anil Ambani, announced the launch of the Harmony Initiative for Senior Citizens or 'silver citizens' as she termed them, at a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday.
"We would like to see our senior citizens silver and glowing and proud. I think of them as Generation A," she said with great emphasis.
Under the auspices of the Dhirubhai Ambani Memorial Trust, this initiative, will work on a three-prong "outreach programme."
She said that India's population of senior citizens had doubled in 25 years (in 2001 it was 75.9 million) and as a result of globalisation the life of the elderly is changing in India, as joint families break down and more and more Indians find work in other parts of the world.
In the first stage, the Trust has launched a colour magazine for the elderly titled Harmony Celebrate Age. The magazine a 96-page glossy with articles by Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Deepak Chopra and on Asha Bhosle and Narayana and Sudha Murthy was distributed at the conference.
Anupa Mehta is the magazine's executive editor.
In the second and third stage, Harmony will look at launching a website www.harmonyindia.org --and then community centres focused on India's elderly.
The website will help the elderly get net savvy, she explained.
Ambani said the first centre will be established at Thakurdwar in South Mumbai, a neighborhood which already has a large senior citizen association. "These centres will involve silver citizens in different activities and alleviate their loneliness and enhance their esteem. Some of these citizens have nothing to do all day and are not active. Yet, they want to be active and productive. We will create a platform for them through these initiatives."
Harmony will charge a nominal fee for senior citizens to become members of these centres. The centres will be equipped with libraries, canteens, fitness rooms, computer education facilities and initiate health camps, workshops, recreation, laughter clubs and a wide variety of events.
"Eventually we would like to make Harmony a national movement," she said, "with centres all over India and have the magazine available in several languages."