The 'Old Goldy' Club Of Nagpur!
"Shreenabh, a young boy from Nagpur, was moved to re-kindle the bond between the elderly and the young. A chance encounter of seeing his friend's grandfather spend time with the kids gave him an idea that led to the 'Oldy Goldy Club'.
Shreenabh shared the ongoing journey of the club in an essay which won the GOI Peace Foundation's Award last year. He recently shared his essay with us. Sharing the inspiration with everyone!"
When I see old people around me looking helplessly towards the young not for their money or protection but for a little time to sit with them, hold their hands and listen to them, I feel very sad. Why are the hands that rocked our cradle and held us strongly so that we may live happily shaking so much? The question is what can we do to repay them for what they have done for us? Is earning money and keeping a nurse for them our only way to express our gratitude and love for them?
When I see the old retired professionals who were respected throughout their life for their work and wisdom looking for someone who could just notice them, I feel sad. The vast ocean of knowledge that they hold in their minds and hearts is ready to overflow and guide the paths of the struggling youth; but where is that youth? Why are the fingers that wrote the policies for the nation and led the country to the acme of development searching in dim light a finger to hold? The question is what can we do to harness the energy they still have to guide the nation to a brighter path?
When I see an old grandmother shedding tears silently because when she happily rushed to the kitchen to make a delicacy for her grandchildren she was asked to sit and relax, I feel sad. Why is she not allowed to cook the food that not only her children but their friends enjoyed too? The question is what can we do to let them live naturally and help them to feel an important part of the family?
I wish to change this helpless situation of the old people all over the world. I have tried to bring about a small change in the town where I stay to see if my thought can be converted into fruitful action. When I saw the idea working and the grandparents actually feeling ʻGrandʼ, my happiness knew no bounds.
One fine day when I was visiting my friend, I saw his younger sister and her friends sitting near his grandfather and all of them were laughing merrily. My friend told me that every evening his grandfather took a one hour session for the children of the colony which included yoga, meditation, story-telling and vocabulary building. I was amazed. I came home and chalked out a plan of action and then visited sixteen libraries in my town. I requested them to allow me to conduct one life skills session every week. They readily agreed as the footfall in the libraries has been decreasing day by day due to the advent of internet. I then approached the retired people in my town and requested them to spend time with the young children of our town every weekend. Some of them showed a bit of hesitation but then big smiles adorned their faces. Now with two main tasks accomplished I turned my attention to the most difficult task; the task of convincing the parents to send their children for these life skills sessions. But believe me, they all readily agreed. The big day arrived and our first session started. There was sheer happiness all around. The ʻgoldy- oldiesʼ-thatʼs what I call them were looking ten years younger! They had the reins in their hands once again.
I wish to bring this change in every nook and corner of the world. I am sure that the clueless young generation will get a guided path to walk upon. There can be ʻoldy-goldyʼ clubs of old scientists for the teenagers and the college students to guide them on innovative projects. There can be ʻoldy-goldyʼ clubs of grandmothers for the young daughters who want to equip themselves for a happy married life. There can be ʻoldy-goldyʼ clubs of artists to colour the life of the young.
I wish I could start ʻoldy-goldyʼ clubs all over the world not only to make my oldies live healthy and happy but in turn help the stressed, disoriented, self centered, unsympathetic youth live their life with internal satisfaction.
Only the experienced can shape the inexperienced!
Here's his presentation of the essay at the GOI Peace Foundation Forum themed "Creating Tomorrow Today", in Japan last year.