HelpAge seminar on protecting elders | Daily News

HelpAge seminar on protecting elders

Youth Education Director G.C. Mendis addressing the participants.
Youth Education Director G.C. Mendis addressing the participants.

A seminar was held for over 100 Principals and Zonal Education Directors in the Trincomalee District by the HelpAge Sri Lanka (HASL) under the Education Ministry on ‘Caring for elders and creating them an environment to live with dignity,” at the Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya, Trincomalee in collaboration with the HelpAge International, UK recently. It was sponsored by the Grandparent Programme (SaG).

Youth Education Director G.C. Mendis urged the participants to pass the message to children since it was their duty to look after the elders.

He quoted Bertrand Russell, "without moral values, mankind has no future" and said that world famous characters did not isolate the elders. Director Mendis said that one day all become old and spend their twilight with their loved ones.

He said that keeping in line with the cultural background in Sri Lanka, HelpAge does not promote the ‘Elders Homes’ concept and urged schoolchildren not to isolate their elders. HASL Programme Manager Chaminda de Silva urged all to keep their elders in the family circle without sending them to elders’ homes. He said that the HelpAge has called on the UN to initiate a `Convention to safeguard the elders’ interest.

The Programme Manager said that ‘Gerontology’ is a scientific study of the old age and old peoples’ problems and `Geriatric’ is a medical science dealing with their health.

HelpAge Executive Director Samantha Liyanawaduge said that the HelpAge Eye Hospital, Wellawatta provides free cataract surgeries to less -privileged senior citizens and provide them with free disability equipment as well.

Trincomalee Zonal Education Department Director S. Sritharan said that it was the duty and responsibility of the principals and teachers to enlighten the youth towards respecting the elders.