A programme commemorating the International Day of Older Persons was organised by II Year students of U.G. Department of Social Work, Madras School of Social Work in association with Dignity Foundation. The programme was conducted on 7th October, 2017 at Madras School of Social Work, from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM.
The Chief Guest for the day was Dr. S. Raja Samuel, Principal, Madras School of Social Work. The programme began with the lighting of the lamp followed by the playing of Dignity Anthem and MSSW’s College Song. Mrs. Sundera Gopalan, Chief Dignitarian, Dignity Foundation, welcomed the gathering and gave an introduction about Dignity Foundation. She spoke about its mission, emphasisng on its aim and the purpose of conducting a programme under the Inter-Generational Comrades project. The Chief Guest’s address was delivered by Dr. S. Raja Samuel. He congratulated the BSW Department for selecting a topic that deals with the elderly community, also stressing that our India is the best place to talk about intergenerational bonding because we have the emotional connect that is much needed between the generations. Other dignitaries present on the dais were Mrs. P. K. Vathani, Head of Department (BSW), MSSW and the three awardees of the day – Mr. Balakrishnan, Mrs. Lion K Alamelu, and Mrs. Kausalya Ramaswami.
There were three awardees for the day. The title of “Mudhiya Ilampirai” was conferred to Mr. Balakrishnan, a business man. Mrs. Lion K. Alamelu was conferred the title of “Vidhya Dharini” for her service in the field of education. The title of “Sangeetha Choodamani” was conferred on Mrs. Kausalya Ramaswami, a singer. All the awardees and other dignitaries were duly honoured.
The award ceremony was succeeded by a talk on “Humour and Health” by Mr. Chockalingam, a renowned cardiologist. He started by giving a word of praise for all those working towards the society. He spoke about generation gap, healthy habits and about being physically fit. He induced humour into his speech that made it more enjoyable and informative. Then the activities carried out by BSW Department with Dignity Foundation presented. The highlights of the programme were the cultural events by students and senior citizens. A dance was performed by 5 senior citizens and students to a fusion of songs. The audience had a chance to witness a musical performance by Mrs. Kausalya Ramaswami. The debate team, consisting of 2 senior citizens and 2 students, debated on the topic “The Youth of Today: Are they confused or confident?” A drama titled “The Difference” was enacted by a team of 2 senior citizens and 6 students. The cultural events were well received by the audience and appreciations poured in for all the performances.
An oath taking ceremony was held for both senior citizens and students. Certificates were distributed to all the students. The customary ‘Vote of Thanks’ was proposed by Mr. Balachander. The programme was concluded with the National Anthem.
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