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Change In Mental Makeup Could Prove Beneficial For Elders

The new mantra for the pensioners and the ageing millions in the country is not to give into despair but celebrate life by using acquired //skills to provide a helping hand to others, say experts.

"I try not to be a burden on anyone. I want a smile on everyone's face and am prepared to support anyone as much as I can so that together we can serve others," says Justice Ranganath Misra, who has long been championing the cause of senior citizens.

At 81, the former chief justice of India and advisory board member of the Delhi-headquartered Agewell Foundation is looking forward to more years of service to society - trying to clear the backlog of court cases through the fast track.

Moving away from the stereotype image of the elderly as lonely, neglected and helpless, Misra firmly believes that age is no bar to "facing life ahead upgrading skills, using our talents to serve others and trusting younger generation to lead their own lives".

Several others share the same views and are striving in their own ways to help prepare people for old age.

"Problems of the aged are not confined to the elderly but also impact the younger generation," A.M. Sethna, president of Parzor Foundation that deals with issues of the Parsi community, told IANS.

Around 30 percent of youths in the Parsi community have not been able to get married as they have the responsibility of their elderly parents, said Sethna.

He revealed that 31 percent of the Parsi community living in India comprised people over 60 years, a higher average than in any other community or country.

The number of senior citizens in India is estimated to be around 80 million, which is larger than the entire population of Britain.

"It is estimated that the number of people above 60 in India is set to reach 137 million by 2021," said Himanshu Rath, chairman of the Agewell Foundation that has developed a chain of over 6,300 ded
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