At The Foundation School, The Citizenship Programme enables the children to participate in different activities that gives them an opportunity to participate in community projects. This time, 9 children accompanied by teachers visited The Golden Estate, a resident centre for senior citizens that provides a respectable living environment for those whose grown up children live abroad or for those who are single and can’t look after themselves as they age due to their deteriorating health.

We were welcomed warmly by the managing members and the children quickly mingled with the residents in enthusiasm. Many of our children don’t live with their grandparents because of nuclear families, so this was a loving opportunity for them to be around people of their grandparents’ generation. It was wonderful to see that the bonding was almost instant.

The children presented a skit filled with old Bollywood songs about friendship and also an energetic dance choreographed to patriotic melodies. The children also presented handmade greeting cards to their hosts.

Touched by the spontaneity of the children, the residents joined in the song and dance! Many of the senior citizens participated with children, sang songs and shook a leg too! They shared memories of their own children and values that they believe can never let one down in life. The children seemed to listen and absorb in attention.

We were gifted a beautiful bouquet of flowers and the children were presented gift hampers too! We had lunch together and it was wonderful to see how the doting residents seemed to be happily lost in the camaraderie and joy of the little ones.

For the children it was a lesson on coping with growing old- not necessarily sad or helpless if the younger generation like them makes the time and lends company and care. It is thus an important responsibility for the young to not forget those ageing even as they remain occupied making their own lives.

It was an afternoon full of love, laughter and enjoyment for the senior citizens and the children- a happy lesson in good citizenship.

Ms. Sangeeta Aswani.