Empathy in Action: Helping Elderly Neighbours

Start Date:15-Jun-2024

End Date:15-Jun-2024

Location:8 villages

Institute:SARVAM, Puducherry

On 15 June 2024, SARVAM Puducherry conducted an awareness programme on helping elderly neighbours across eight different villages, involving 225 students. The aim was to instil empathy, compassion, and a sense of community among the younger generation. The programme focused on educating students about the importance of supporting elderly neighbours, highlighting the significance of friendship, financial concerns, and daily habits. It emphasised simple ways to help, such as listening to their concerns and showing respect.

Key points discussed included spending quality time, valuing their advice, sharing meals, assisting them with digital skills, promoting interactions with children, and providing necessary caregiving services. The coordinators urged students to recognise opportunities to assist elders within their busy schedules. The programme underscored that volunteering doesn't always need to be formal or planned; spontaneous acts of kindness towards elderly neighbours can make a significant difference.

Students were encouraged to help in various ways, such as aiding with groceries, visiting, or inviting them for a walk. Post-theory lessons, the students visited elderly individuals, helping with tasks like cleaning, arranging clothes, assisting with meals and walking, engaging in activities to make them smile, combing hair, providing food, and playing small games. The experience was fulfilling for the students, who expressed their eagerness to continue these visits regularly.

This interaction benefits both students and elderly individuals by fostering empathy, providing life lessons, and promoting intergenerational understanding. The initiative concluded with the decision to form "Students Help - Elderly Neighbours" groups in each village, committing to monthly support and addressing urgent needs. This initiative promises to cultivate humanism and benefit both the young and the elderly.