VALUEDUCATION

VALUEDUCATION PROJECT
Run by the International Longevity Centre-India (ILC-I)
With the support of GHARDA CHEMICALS LTD.
2016-17

INTRODUCTION:
The Internationl Longevity Centre-India (ILC-I), with the CSR support of Gharda Chemicals Ltd, is running the innovative VALUEDUCATION project in different schools in Pune, for the year 2016-17.
What is VALUEDUCATION?
Value-building of India’s greatest Resources- Children

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Young India going Old:
The population of India is more than 1 billion- a very well-known fact. India is the second most populous country in the world, again a well-established statistic. Modern India is being acknowledged as ‘Young India’ because of the growing population rate of the country- a much touted status.
And despite all this, there is a startlingly new revelation that has come to the forefront which needs the urgent attention and focus of the governmental, the political and societal machinery of our country.
DSCN0084The emerging demographics of the population in India show that the age group of individuals over the age of 60 years today accounts for more than 10% of the total population. That means, today there are more than 100 million elderly over the age of 60 years in India!
This figure of ‘Population Ageing’ as it is referred to by demographers, is growing so rapidly that, by 2050, there will be more than 315 million seniors over the age of 60 years in India.
DSCN0090In 2001, ‘the index of ageing’, which is the shift in the balance between the child and older populations and is expressed as ‘the number of persons above 60 years for every 100 children below the age of 15 years’, was 23.4 elderly persons for every 100 children, but this number is projected to increase to 53 elderly persons for every 100 children by 2026, indicating clearly the rapid increase in the population of the elderly in the near future.
So, DSCN0088though we have been looking at India as a country which will have a high number of youngsters in its total population, a close and more scientific look reveals that on a parallel level, India is also going to have a large population of elders over the age of 60 years. And in this population, 20 % of the senior citizens will be over the age of 80 years!

DSCN0096This is the miracle of longevity. Science and technological innovations in medicine have brought in an increase in the longevity of mankind. Increased longevity has also brought in its wake, the issues and concerns of the elderly- a scenario that requires the urgent attention of all of us. Longevity is not just about living long; it is also about the quality of that long life!

Issues and Concerns of the Elderly:DSC_0030
There is a great difference in the situation of the elderly a couple of decades ago and that of today. Essentially, the family security net always took care of their elders, be they men or women, widowed or unmarried, with ailments and disabilities or merely frail with age.

DSC_0044But today, in the modern world where the family structure has changed its face from being a joint family system to a nuclear set-up, in a world where, the children have moved out of their parental homes out of compulsion or choice, dictated by the need for better opportunities or for independent living respectively, the gamut of problems or the concerns of the elderly have also undergone a sea-change.
DSCN0167Compounded with this is the fact that the western influence of materialism, liberation, and ultra-modernism has impacted the minds of the young generations of India. ‘Aping the west’ is an oft-repeated phrase that comes to mind when we talk about the modern day youngster. Some of the trends of this generation include a lack of tolerance for the weak and the frail, impatience, arrogance and most importantly, a money-oriented luxurious lifestyle.

DSCN0149In this atmosphere of living for one’s own pleasures, the traditional values of the family system get eroded. Caring for the family, looking after the old and the infirm in the family have become bygones, to put it very euphemistically. These are outdated values, is the belief of our modern day youngsters!
With such a value system in place, the elders, be they parents or grandparents, are increasingly being looked upon as unwanted burdens of society. Not only do the young adults want to live independent of their parents, but they do not want to take up any responsibility towards them.

DSCN1523The outcome of a pseudo-westernised society:
In such a society, wherein the younger generations have imbibed the western values of liberated independence and materialistic luxuries, one of the most vulnerable segments of the Indian population happen to be the elderly. Reduced physical and mental fitness, the growing dependency on others are some of the features of the ageing process which bring on a sense of helplessness and isolation of the elderly. To add to this the attitude of neglect, an intolerant and impatient approach on the part of the younger generations, only heightens the loneliness and emptiness felt by the senior citizens.
DSCN1515India was known for its values of respect for, care of and attention towards the elderly. Its value system was acknowledged and respected the world over. But over the last few years the system has crumbled. The values lost. What is left behind is tradition in shambles! A mockery of the rich Indian heritage! The heart-wrenching stories of Nirbhaya and Gudiya are telling examples of a society which has lost its way in the maze of money, materialism, and most importantly, moral corruption.

                                                                                   Need to restore the imbalance:
A society is what its children are! For after DSCN1387all the children of today are the adult citizens of tomorrow. In fact, today, one of our valuable resources in the country are our children. By grooming the young minds which are so malleable, so impressionable, in the right direction, we would be helping nurture a healthy and happy society.
Similarly we also need to recognize another valuable human resource of our society- our elders. Cherish your elders- they are a DSCN1426treasure-house of knowledge, wisdom and experience. An old African proverb says-“The death of an elderly man is like the burning of a library.” The wisdom and knowledge of our elders are like the roots of a society. Cut away these roots and the tree falls, so also, when we deride or neglect an elder we are sawing off the very branch that we are sitting upon!
If we are able to impress upon our children the importance of being respectful towards our elderly, if we are able to set by example the need for being caring towards our seniors, we would be grooming a generation of adults who would be able to cherish and value these ancient mores.
DSCN1361Children learn fast when they are taught young. And it is necessary that we bring back the value system of yore which was healthy for the mind and soul of society. So what better than to teach the young children, the importance of the elderly in our lives; to impress upon them that, ‘As you sow, so shall you Reap!’ Everyone grows old. So give respect and get respect. If the seniors of today are happy and can lead dignified lives, we can be assured that the children of today will also be the happy and healthy elders of tomorrow.

So to restore our Indian heritage, to bring back the spirit of wellbeing3 of our ancient Indian traditions, we have to cultivate our young Indian minds. We have to inculcate in them the fact that our elders are indeed the backbone of our society. The well-being of our elders is also the indicator of the health of our society.
The need of the hour is to bring back the moral values of respect, trust, honesty, ethical behavior, decorum, dignity and decency intothe moral fabric of the Indian ethos. Respect for women, for elders, for truth, for honesty are the pillars of any civilized society. Losing sight of these is bound to lead to moral blindness in any society.
Objective of this initiative on “Valueducation of our Children”: SWACH BHARAT- cleansing of the Mind and the Body-
2ILC-I believes in Productive, Participatory, Healthy, Qualitative Ageing. The CSR support of Gharda Chemicals Ltd has made it possible to ensure that elders in India can “Celebrate Age” and live in a “Society for all Ages.”
This initiative on “Valueducation of our Children” seeks the participation of senior citizens as voluntary teachers of ‘Valueducation”. The participation of seniors as volunteers under this project serves to highlight the fact that seniors are still productive, still capable of giving to society and that age has in no way diminished their quality or their capacity of being positive contributors to the development of society.
This also ensures that seniors remain active and independent and in the process healthy and beneficially occupied (not in monetary terms, but in terms of qualitative work satisfaction).

1At the same time the seniors are also carrying out a responsibility that has traditionally been theirs from times of yore and which they have carried out appreciably- to inculcate amongst the youngsters, the old and cherished values that nurture a good society.
An important and critical need for the development of Indian society, especially under the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan is to ensure not just a cleaning up of the environment, but also, a cleansing of the Mind and Body of every individual.
Getting rid of old, archaic thoughts and opinions and imbibing the purest of thoughts and actions even at the personal and individual levels is very vital. Cleanliness and hygiene are daily chores for the body and good morals and ethical values help keep the Mind clean, clear and pure.
For ensuring a Swach Bharat, ILC-I, with the support of GHARDA CHEMICALS LTD, is committed towards taking this message of SWACH MAN, SWACH TAN (Clean Mind, Clean Body) across to the school children through its Valueducation project and help bring about a much-needed transformation of Indian society.

Methodology of the project:
ILC-I has already covered ten schools from July to December 2016 under this project of ‘Valueducation’, and reached out to nearly 1000 school children.
ILC-I has a data of senior citizens who are interested in interacting with school children, have a special knack of building a rapport with them and most importantly believe in the change that we seek to bring about. Some of them are retired school teachers, principals, professors, engineers, grandmothers or elderly housewives or from any other profession- the common objective would be to instill valueducation in the youngsters.

ILC-I has reached out to schools which children from the underprivileged sector attend, as this is where the gap between learning and practice is the most apparent. The senior citizens who are involved in ‘Valueducation’ connect with the children through story-telling, recounting of legends, folk-tales, singing songs, and plenty of interaction between them and the children.
Values that build the ethical system of an individual or a society are instilled through such fun ways, including small cartoon videos that are shown to the children. Values like respect for elders/parents/ grandparents, respect for women, truth, dedication, integrity, hard work, cleanliness, environment, sanitation, hygiene, are imparted to the children. The children are then given a topic relevant to the values taught and an essay competition on that topic, is held after a day and prizes given at a special function, for the first three essays.
Children from Stds1st to 9th have been covered fron schools of Pashan, Sus Road, Paud Road, Kothrud, Bibewadi and Viman Nagar.
ILC-I has received some very encouraging and valuable feedback from the school children, their parents and the school authorities, all of whom have expressed their happiness that such an endeavour has been initiated.

GHARDA CHEMICALS LTD AS THE CHANGE-MAKER and IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SWACH BHARAT ABHIYAN:
GHARDA CHEMICALS is in a role of the ‘Change-Maker’ under this innovative project which, besides, advocating the values of respect for elders and women, also endorses the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in terms of educating children about the values of cleanliness, , sanitation, personal hygiene, maintaining of a green and sustainabl environment.

Strengthening our value systems:
The International Longevity Centre-India, with the support of GHARDA CHEMICALS LTD proposes to be the leader in marking the road to recovery. Recovery of our rich and ancient value system through the rekindling of our young children’s minds!
“Valueducate our Children of Today to be the Dignified Elders of Tomorrow.”

DSCN0365There is a great difference in the situation of the elderly a couple of decades ago and that of today. Essentially, the family security net always took care of their elders, be they men or women, widowed or unmarried, with ailments and disabilities or merely frail with age.
But today the scenario has changed- the family structure has changed its face from being a joint family system to a nuclear set-up, where, the adult children move out of their parental homes out of compulsion or choice, dictated by the need for better opportunities or for independent living respectively.

 A world where the traditional Indian values of respecting elders or caring for the elders in the family have become non-issues! Further still, the values of respecting women, simple and basic values of honesty, integrity, commitment, dedication, hard work, sincerity have all given way to dishonourable trends of violence against women, corruption, frauds and the like.
The most urgent and very vital need of the hour is- the rebuilding of the moral fabric of Indian society, to weave in those values of yore which would make every citizen of India proud to be an Indian.

Values for a healthy society:
A society is what its children are! For after all the children of today are the adult citizens of tomorrow. In fact, today, one of our valuable resources in the country is our children. By grooming the young minds which are so malleable, so impressionable, in the right direction, and at the right time, we would be helping nurture a healthy and happy society for tomorrow.
Similarly we also need to recognize another valuable human resource of our society- our elders. Cherish your elders- they are a treasure-house of knowledge, wisdom and experience. An old African proverb says-“ The death of an elderly man is like the burning of a library.”
The wisdom and knowledge of our elders are like the roots of a society. Cut away these roots and the tree falls, so also, when we deride or neglect an elder we are sawing off the very branch that we are sitting upon!
If we are able to impress upon our children the importance of being respectful towards our elderly, if we are able to set by example the need for being caring towards our seniors, we would be grooming a generation of adults who would be able to cherish and value these ancient mores.
Children learn fast when they are taught young. And it is necessary that we bring back the value system of yore which was healthy for the mind and soul of society.
So what better than to teach the young children, the importance of the elderly in our lives; to impress upon them that, ‘As you sow, so shall you Reap!’ Everyone grows old. So give respect and get respect. If the seniors of today are happy and can lead dignified lives, we can be assured that the children of today will also be the happy and healthy elders of tomorrow.
DSCN0417So to restore our Indian heritage, to bring back the spirit of wellbeing of our ancient Indian traditions, we have to cultivate our young Indian minds. We have to inculcate in them the fact that our elders are indeed the backbone of our society. The well-being of our elders is also the indicator of the health of our society.
The need of the hour is to bring back the moral values of respect, trust, honesty, ethical behavior, integrity, commitment, sincerity, dedication, decorum, dignity and decency into the moral fabric of the Indian ethos. Respect for women, for elders, for truth, for honesty are the pillars of any civilized society! Losing sight of these is bound to lead to moral blindness and depravation in any society.

Objective of this initiative on “Valueducation of our Children”:
ILC-I believes in Productive, Participatory, Healthy, Qualitative Ageing. This initiative on “Valueducation of our Children” seeks the participation of senior citizens as voluntary teachers of ‘Valueducation”. The participation of seniors as volunteers under this project serves to highlight the fact that seniors are still productive, still capable of giving to society and that age has in no way diminished their quality or their capacity of being positive contributors to the development of society.
This also ensures that seniors remain active and independent and in the process healthy and beneficially occupied (not in monetary terms, but in terms of qualitative work satisfaction).
At the same time the seniors are also carrying out a responsibility that has traditionally been theirs and which they have carried out appreciably- to inculcate amongst the youngsters, the old and cherished values that nurture a good society.

Methodology of the project:
ILC-I’s panel of senior citizens who are interested in interacting with school children, or those who have a special knack of building a rapport with these children, are engaged in this project. They may be retired school teachers, principals, professors, engineers, grandmothers or elderly housewives or from any other profession- the common objective would be to instill valueducation in the youngsters.
Schools, be they English or regional, convent or municipality, can be an integral part of this project. The children being covered under this project are from standards 5 to 7.
At present, there is one session on ‘Valueducation’ on one day and after a day, the children are asked to write on one particular topic relevant to the elders for an essay competition.
Prizes are awarded to the best three essays in each standard in each school.
An inter-school competition with elocution and group skits on identified topics is to be conducted at the end of the orientation and sensitisation phase.

Strengthening our value systems:
The International Longevity Centre-India proposes to be the leader in marking the road to recovery. Recovery of our rich and ancient value system through the rekindling of our young children’s minds!
ILC-I requests your participation in this process. Lend a hand to-
“Valueducate our children of today to be the dignified elders of tomorrow.”

The first programme under Valueducation 2015 :
The first school to be sensitized was the Sant Tukaram School. Students of Standards 5th to the 7th were introduced to the values of respect, honesty, cleanliness, hard work, with the creative skills of Ms. Sunanda Kale, a retired teacher, on the 6th of July 2015.