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Words of wisdom from elders

Staff Reporter

"Shun alcohol and tobacco"

— PHOTO: N. Sridharan

SPOTLIGHT ON SENIORS: World Elders' Day observance by several organisations in the city has brought into focus the unique problems faced by senior citizens.

CHENNAI: For a healthy and vibrant nation, emphasis must be on the health of the child and the adolescent population of the country. If a person receives care between 14 and 21, habits such as substance abuse and illicit sex can be prevented. It has been proved that tobacco, alcohol and illicit sex cause havoc to youth, said dermatologist A.S. Thambaiah, who addressed a gathering of elders at Esplanade on Saturday. October 1 is celebrated as World Elders Day. Alcohol slows down blood flow in the body and even one puff of tobacco could pump up the vascular system, he said. "The biggest cause of juvenile delinquency is poor parental care. Give a child the slogan `add life to years,' and not the other way," Dr. Thambaiah said.

He said no matter what the age, a person who remains physically active and does not change his habits such as regular exercise would benefit in the long run. There was no shame in accepting help from the State during old age, he said. Pension was given as a right for the services rendered, he said.

V.K. Subburaj, Health Secretary, said in September and October the State planned to conduct one lakh cataract surgeries as part of World Eye Sight Day observed on October 12. Geriatrician V.S. Natarajan, Gen. (retd.) Aban Naidu, chairman emeritus, participated. The Centre for the Welfare of the Aged held special programmes.

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