The conference on the “Emerging Challenges of Elderly: Implementation of Programmes and Policy Making” commenced at 10.00 am with the Welcome Address by Dr.S.Raja Samuel, Principal & Secretary of the college and the overview of the conference was presented by Dr.K.Sathyamurthi, convener of the conference. The conference was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Tmt. Amuthavalli V. I.A.S., Director, Social Welfare, Govt. of Tamil Nadu who elaborated about the various policies and programmes and their implementation for the betterment of senior citizens. She also highlighted that the underlying reason for the increase in old age homes is the disintegration of joint family system and the escalation of nuclear family system. In addition, State helpline for citizens, old age pension, programme for immunization of senior citizens and initiative of Chennai police with regard to matters of elderly. The keynote address was by Prof. Irudaya Rajan S. PhD, Professor, Center for Development Studies, Trivandrum, Kerala who emphasized on the need for individual responsibility towards protecting the interests of the elderly and the importance of social work intervention in the same. The inaugural session ended with vote of thanks by Dr. Shakeela Basheer, Head of the Social Work Department (Aided). Over 150 academicians, researchers, NGO participants, elderly and students have participated in the two-day conference.
Expert and our alumni Dr. K R Gangadharan, PhD, Founder Director of Heritage Foundation, Hyderabad enlightened the participants on contemporary issues and challenges of Elderly, internationally distinguished professor, Dr. Ilango Ponnuswami., professor of Bharthidasan University will addressed the Policies and programmes gathering in the plenary session. ‘To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art’ Dr.Prabhavathy Devi, Phd presented her work on Elderly and Nutrition, having adequate health insurance is of utmost importance" Dr. S. Prakash, MD, Star Health Insurance, Insurance & Elderly thrashed the need of health insurance, Ms. Lalitha, Advocate, Madras High Court interacted and highlighted the need and importance of law and its implementation for elderly during the plenary symposium session in the afternoon. Dr. Sridhar Vaitheswaran, Consultant Psychiatrist, SCARF, Chennai spoke on Mental Health and Elderly, Mr. Siva Kumar, State Head, Help Age India addressed the problems of elderly in India and its implementation by the non – governmental organisations, Dr. Ganesh Kumar, PhD., Consultant Psychologist from Raju Hospitals highlighted the relevance of Yoga for elderly. Ms. Simona, MSW., Art Therapist conducted the Art therapy session to the elders between 10.00 to 11.30 am in the conference hall and shared the therapeutic approach of Art therapy to the participants in the session after the exercise, Two families namely, Mr. Wesely and Mr. Gunamuthu Susheela family shared the intergenerational bonding between elders, parents and the grandparents and Dr. K. Sathyamurthi, PhD moderated the panel session. Mr. Srikumar P S, Founder and Director, Care Finders, Chennai chaired the panel discussion of interventions for elderly with the panelists, Dr. Malini, Anandam Home and Mr. Chellem, social intervention by the Rotary club. 29 papers were presented in the parallel sessions on 26 and 27 February 2018, the paper presentations session were chaired by academicians and practitioners and an outcome of the conference an edited volume of Book (ISBN) titled Elderly in India: Problems and Prospects was released by Dr. A . M. Swaminathan, IAS., (Retd), President, SSER/MSSW in the valedictory function. He stressed upon the role of local trusts, philanthropists, Non-Governmental organisations resources to be tapped and recognize the local societies and we can’t depend with only Government to create policies and programmes like universalisation of pension to the elderly. Dr. S. Raja Samuel, PhD., gave special address and highlighted the need of adult care and as outcome of the conference would training needs can be identified for care providers working in the elderly institutions and also plan to start diploma course in Geriatric in the college. Dr. Shakeela Basheer, declared the prize winners of street play and mime competition. Dr. K. Sathyamurthi, PhD, Conference Convener read the conference report and Ms. Vijaya, Treasurer, Astra Forum welcomed the gathering and Mr. Pravin Kumar, General Secretary of the ASTRA forum proposed the Vote of thanks.
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