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Times of India
24 July 2009
New Delhi, India

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit has some advice for senior citizens of the city. She wants them to get connected on social networking sites.

Speaking at a symposium on the rights and needs of older women organised by Agewell Foundation on Thursday evening, Dikshit confessed that she was not exactly computer savvy herself. However, dwelling on the issue of loneliness of the elderly in the city, Dikshit said she wanted to encourage Agewell Foundation to get its members online and on to social networking sites.

”Families are becoming smaller, with children moving out of the country, leaving elderly parents behind. Safety and loneliness of senior citizens has become a serious concern in the capital. I see my daughter using networking sites to be in touch with people all over the world. Even if your children are outside the country, you can remain in touch through the net,” the chief minister said.

Dikshit also sent out an open invitation for a discussion on the rights and needs of older people to take place in the month of October in the Secretariat. “I’m personally inviting all the members of Agewell Foundation for a round–table discussion in the Secretariat in order to take Agewell’s initiative forward of educating older women about their needs and rights and reminding the younger generation of their duties towards their elders,” said Dikshit.

Among the dignitaries present at the symposium was 86–year–old Vidhya Ben Shah who has worked for women and child rights for 65 years. She is currently the president of a senior citizen service forum, and looks into issues concerning elderly women. She lives by herself in Maharani Bagh with only a help for company. “I live all alone. I have two sons and a daughter but they live outside the city. It does get lonely at times but I keep my self so busy with the social causes I’m attached with that I don’t realise I’m alone. My servant has been with me for 40 years and is like a family member. As elders we have alot to offer if we make use of our time well, ” said Shah.

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