GUWAHATI, Oct 2 – The elderly people will have to discharge a special and sacred duty for liberating mankind from the prejudice and arrogance responsible for wars, ethnic and religious clashes, and mutual hatred among nations.
Justice (retd) DN Choudhury observed this while addressing as chief guest the public meeting held at the Cotton College auditorium on the occasion of the International Year of Elderly Persons on Friday.
Addressing the meeting presided over by Nishinath Changkakati, retd DGP, Justice Choudhury dwelt at length on the important role of the elderly in building a happier, content and cohesive society.
DN Chakravartty, the appointed speaker, explained the contents of the United Nations Principles for Elderly Persons and the National Policy for Senior Citizens. He said that the Indian Constitution and the National Policy for Elderly Citizens held that the elderly were not a burden of society but a valuable asset, and their concerns and agonies were the concerns and agonies of the whole nation.
The meeting felicitated eight nonagenarians including centenarian Bholaram Das, Dr Jamini Mohan Choudhury, Prof Ashraf Ali, Kamal Kumari Baruah, Dr Pratap Chandra Choudhury, Dr Amalendu Guha and Ram Niranjan Goenka. Nilandra Tania of Help Age India also addressed the function.
Changkakati, in his presidential address, expressed the hope that the State Government would soon come out with its State policy for elderly people and fully implement the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Elderly Citizens Act.
A song dedicated to the elderly of the world composed by Geeta Hatikakati was another highlight of the day.
Earlier, the day's proceedings began with a procession at 9-30 am from the District Library campus to the Cotton College Union Hall. Around five hundred people – many of them representing different organizations – took part in the procession. The procession was flagged off by veteran sports organiser Pulin Das.