Despite India faring poorly in a recent study on the well-being of the elderly, Bangalore had reasons to cheer with the city getting a new place for its senior citizens on the World Elders Day.
The Elders Enrichment Centre in the IT city provides the senior citizens an option to interact with their peers during the day, thus allowing them to have a social life without cramping the lifestyle of their younger relatives.
Set up in Bangalore's Malleswaram area, the day care centre also has facilities for people with dementia who cannot be left alone.
80-year-old Mr Subramanian says, "I felt lonely after 54 years of married life. Yet I don't want to burden my children. Now I can carry myself on."
Welcoming the opening of the centre, Chandrashekara Koteeswaran says, "Soon after joining here, I found a tremendous difference in my spirit. You begin to socially engage with people of your age and share."
Many at the centre find the idea of day care more comforting than that of a residential centre.
Mr Koteeswaran said, "At an old age home, you are separated from your near and dear ones. At the day care centre, you are there from 9 am to 5 pm or 6 pm. Once back home, you are again part of the family. No old age home can ever be a home. It is a contradiction in terms."
Lalitha Eswaran, a volunteer at the centre, best summed it up, "There is a lot of camaraderie, lot of bonding and sharing, lot of give and take, and lots of laughter."
India stands a dismal 73rd in the list of 91 countries, according to a UN-backed study on the well-being of the elderly in a rapidly ageing world. (Read