Monday, March 28, 2016

U3A API & IUTA Int Conference Osaka Japan Oct 2016 Details

This website provides information on the combined U3A Asia Pacific Alliance and AIUTA International Conference to be held in the Asia Pacific Trade Center, Osaka, on 11th and 12th October 2016

Conference Theme:
 U3As Linking the World
Sub-themes: "Active & Healthy Ageing" and "Intergenerational Cooperation"

It will be hosted and organised by U3A Japan, and will be the 7th U3A Asia Pacific Alliance International Conference and the 99th AIUTA Governing Board Meeting and International Conference

There will be a special tour to Kyoto after the two days' conference. It will be accompanied by Mrs. Akiko Tsukatani and Age Concern Japan staff members. In addition there will be a special 12 day cultural tour of five cities, which includes the conference arrangements and payments. Click on the right for full details, in English or in french.

Programme, Registration, Hotels, Cultural Tour are all given

Dr P Vyasamoorthy
30 Gruhalakshmi Colony, Secunderabad 500015 Telangana
LL 040-27846631 / Mobile: 9490804278

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fwd: Grannies going to school

Formal schooling for grandma to make them literates.

Age no bar: These grannies are going to school to shrug off illiterate tag

By Sumedha Raikar-Mhatre |Posted 27-Mar-2016

In a village 95 km from Mumbai, grandmothers are strapping on bags and skipping spiritual 'baithaks' for school time, all to pull off a signature before the final call comes

Shikshanala vayache bandhan naste (learning has no age limit) sounds platitudinous. The cliché, however, gets a real-life sparkle when put on a blackboard facing 28 non-literate grandmothers who have enrolled themselves at the Aajibainchi Shala in Phangane village of Thane district.

Embracing a routine that is conventionally reserved for tiny tots — nursery rhymes, alphabets, math tables and the occasional class in painting — senior women, aged 60 to 90 years, are coping with daily homework and an upcoming unit test. This will be their first exam in a formal teaching space since they started going to school in March.

All aged 60 to 90 years, students of Aajibainchi Shala in Phangane, one of the remotest of 206 villages in Murbad taluka of Thane district, walk 1 km to get to school where they spend two hours every day learning from kindles and charts. Pics/Satej Shinde

An otherwise nondescript non-motorable Phangane, 95 km from Mumbai on the Kalyan-Ahmednagar highway, now has a claim to fame. Until recently, it was a village of 400 people where the red-coloured ST (State Transport) bus and the government's BDO (Block Development Officer) did not venture. On March 8, International Women' Day, things changed.

The classes are sponsored by the Motiram Dalal Charitable Trust, which has provided a blackboard, slates (which the ajis call 'TV book'), a book shelf and colourful pencils. Twenty-eight women from the village are currently enrolled

Families here live on subsistence farming and sundry employment in the Ambernath industrial vicinity, doing small jobs in packaging. Most can barely make ends meet. Each house grows shevga (drumsticks) and has them for breakfast, lunch, dinner — guests are gifted shevga, as there is little else.

The students are all aged between 60 and 90. Many of them don't have birth records. When they fail to recall their exact age, they claim 65 as a suitable answer. PICS/SATEJ SHINDE
The students are all aged between 60 and 90. Many of them don't have birth records. When they fail to recall their exact age, they claim 65 as a suitable answer. Pics/Satej Shinde

The village now, however, has a unique classroom which could boast of the country's oldest pupils wearing a uniform of pink nauwari saris. The Motiram Dalal Charitable Trust and Yogendra Bangar, a teacher from Phangane Zilla Parishad's primary school, created history of sorts when they set up a blackboard, kindles, a book shelf and colourful pencils at a farmer's house. The house belongs to Dattatray Deshmukh.

The classes are conducted at local farmer Dattatray Deshmukh's home. He has  has loaned two living rooms for the cause. One acts as the classroom, the other is where study material — charts, stationery — and food supplies are kept
The classes are conducted at local farmer Dattatray Deshmukh's home. He has  has loaned two living rooms for the cause. One acts as the classroom, the other is where study material — charts, stationery — and food supplies are kept

His decision stems from both goodwill and the fact that the matriarch of his family is a part of the class. The house has two huge living rooms with a 1,000 sq feet area that now encompasses the school. One room is for the women to study, another where educational aids (charts, stationery, food supplies) are kept. Bangar and the trust asked men to join in the classes too. But, they found that women, especially senior women, needed this support more. Most of Phangane's male residents know how to sign their names. The trust thought it best to bring the women up to speed. Sixty became a minimum requirement as the classes needed a cut-off age.

Teacher Sheetal More's mother-in-law is also a student. Initially, the 25-year-old was uncomfortable teaching a class more than twice her age

Children set the tone by drawing the 'Welcome Aaji' rangoli in the open ground outside the school. Select households joined hands to contribute vegetable soup and groundnut ladoos as a booster snack for the brave women who had chosen to be schooled at an unconventional age. In order to liven up the aajis (Marathi for grandmother), the village also organised an excursion to Ralegan Siddhi to meet social activist Anna Hazare, a week before the start of the school. This was perhaps the first time that the aajis travelled beyond Tokawade, an adjoining village barely 10 km away from Phangane. Haunsabai Chindhu Kedar said, "When we met Anna Hazare and the another leader, Popatrao Pawar, the idea of going to school took firmer shape. The big world of great people, which we had only heard of, came closer to us."

Yogesh Bangar
Yogesh Bangar

The day at Aajibainchi Shala begins at 2 pm — the two hours between 2 and 4 pm are all that the aajis can devote to class as they have chores at home. Class begins with the Sharada Vandana (prayer to the Goddess of knowledge) delivered by 87-year-old-Ramabai Ganpat Khandagle. Khandagle can't hear properly, but she has a strong voice and so, it's she who is the trusted prayer monitor. After the 10-minute assembly, class begins.

Alphabet practice on the blackboard and then onto the slates (via what the aajis call TV books) forms the core of the session. For the next three months, the only school teacher, 25-year-old matriculate Sheetal More (whose mother-in-law is also a student), will follow a timetable that matches the target — getting them writing and signing their names.
More was initially embarrassed to teach the aajis, all of whom are over twice her age. "The first day was tough. But I realised that they were childlike in the class. I could shout at them and they would not mind," she smiles.

"When we face the Almighty and tell him about our main achievement, our prime gain will be our signature... we don't want to die angthachaap (unschooled)," says Anusuya Savlaram Deshmukh, 86. She comes to class along with her sister-in-law. She says her grandchildren laughed at the idea of her going to school, but she has stuck to her resolve of becoming literate.
The race against age is obvious, but motivating the ladies requires single-minded devotion. Parvatibai Maruti Kedar (65) did not miss school even on the day of her son's pre-nuptial haldi.

For Kamal Keshav Tupange (68) it's about regaining a lost sense of identity. Married at 12, Tupange, came to Phangane at an impressionable age. With this school, it is her chance to reclaim her space. Her grandchildren are married and she wants her own time now, she says. Which is why she has substituted baithak (a sit-down session with a spiritual guru) with school time.

The exclusive student profile of Aajibainchi Shala calls for precedence of verbal communication as against rigorous writing exercises. Most of the 28 aajis are frail, some have weak eyesight and others are hard of hearing. Many have to be escorted on the 50 metres to 1 km distance from their homes to school as they cannot carry their bags.

Although the class is designed for aajis between 60 and 90, the ones in their late 80s far outweigh the others. Many don't have birth records, but family documents and photo albums indicate their advancing years. When they fail to recall their exact age during formal introductions, they claim 65 as a suitable answer.

Aajibainchi Shala traipses over age-related physical handicaps by factoring in the wisdom and vocabulary that come with age. As most aajis have boisterous voices and a good command over the poetry of Maharashtra's saints, it is decided to map these entry points into formal learning. Focusing on the ovis (poetic metre) of Varkari saints which women traditionally sing while doing household chores, aajis are urged to narrate Tukaramgatha or Chokhamela poems. The school is trying to see oral knowledge through a classroom prism, credit for which is due to Bangar, who hails from Murbad. His 'Adult and Continuing Education' ideas spring from his self-declared literacy mission.

"Their recap of saint poetry makes them overqualified for a pre-primary set-up. We have to merely prep them for reading and writing, for which we only need to enthuse them," he says.

Aajibainchi Shala has made news because of its implausible geographical location. Phangane is among the remotest of the 206 villages falling in Murbad taluka. Dichotomous growth characterises the region, making it a picture of plenty and scarcity at once. A luscious green countryside (Malshej Ghat) and hill resorts for the urban sightseer is no solace to Murbad's subsistence farmer growing rice and urad.

Ill-equipped primary health centres cannot be masked by the tree-lined bungalow schemes, advertised as second homes. Enlightening is the joke that villagers share about Murbad's furnished villas with enticing names like Rose Meadows, Palm Village.

Real estate dealers get their clients for demo visits during the monsoons — the best time to shroud water woes.
Women in Murbad, also some from Aajibainchi Shala, cart water on their heads from the rivers. Tap water is a luxury and load shedding a reality; grocery and newspapers don't come in every morning. Amid this lack of connectivity, Aajibainchi Shala offers a beacon of hope.

It is an industrious use of the twilight years — easily replicable because there is no dearth of unschooled aajis across Murbad's 127 gram panchayats.

Sumedha Raikar-Mhatre is a culture columnist in search of the sub-text

- See more at:


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

U3aIndia - Central Zone - Report - Ending March 2016

Report of Indian Society of U3As- Central Zone (March 2016)
Uttar Pradesh State conference.

ISU3A Central Zone held Uttar Pradesh State Conference on 11th and 12th March 2016
at Allahabad. Conference was jointly organized by Lucknow and Allahabad centers under the auspices of U P State Coordinator Dr P K Sinha and ISU3A Organising Secretary Sh G K Khare by Allahabad U3A center. This was hosted jointly by Sangam U3A and Prayag U3A & Dr P K Sinha's Old age home "VIKALP". Program was spread over 2 days comprising of A Visit by Lucknow Delegation to Important tourist places 1nd an Entertainment Musical Evening, A Seminar on "BUILDING A BETTER SOCIETY", A Session on Growth of U3A in India, An Executive Meeting of ISU3A CZ, An Entertainment Hour, Sumptuous Community lunch and A Photo session. ( Some photos are also attached).
Conference was covered in "The Times of India" next day with photograph.

Lucknow Delegation on arrival at Allahabad in A/N was accorded grand reception and were treated to welcome drinks and Lunch. It was followed up by Site seeing trip to important places- CS Azad Park, Anand Bhavan, Sangam and Bade hanuman Ji temple .Delegation arrived in evening at venue- Dr P K Sinha' Old age home 'Vikalp' to a musical welcome, followed by an Entertaining musical Evening and Sumptuous Dinner. Personal touch by Dr Sinha made all the difference ..

B) 12th march'2016 -- CONFERENCE

Large number of delegates (Over 60, both Ladies and Gents) from Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Sultanpur and above all from Sangam City of Allahabad Participated. Shri S.K.Sinha, President, Sangam U3A welcomed the guests and delegates. Conference was chaired by A K Malhotra Vice Chairperson Central Zone and graced by dignitaries among them prominent were Sh V K Shukla President Bhavana Lucknow, Sh G K Khare organizing Secretary ISU3A, Dr P K Sinha U P Coordinator , Sh A P Singh, Sh S K Sinha, Sh H C Singh & Sh S B Bhargava .

C) Seminar on "BUILDING A BETTER SOCIETY" - was jointly organised by Allahabad and Lucknow units of U3A. 

Report filed by Sri AK Malhotra VC - Central Zone

Confederation of Delhi Senior Citizens Associations meets Police Commissioner

Here is some hot news from an Institutional Member of ISU3A, Delhi
     A 9 members delegation of Confederation of Senior Citizens Associations of Delhi ( an umbrella body of 11 lakh Senior Citizens ) led by its Chairperson J.R. Gupta, met Shri Alok Kumar Verma, New Commissioner of Police at Police Headquarters today. The other members were S/Shri V.P. Gupta, A.C. Bansal, Amrit Mannan, B.S. Yadav, Chander Sachdev, R.K. Katyal, P.D. Bathla & L.R. Garg. The members congratulated him for joining as Commissioner of Police and also conveyed Holi greetings. 

   The members brought to his notice above some vital issues concerning Senior Citizens, such as :- Creation of Awareness in registration of lonely Senior Citizens with Delhi Police and Parents and Senor Citizens Maintenance Act 2007.. Some members shown their concern about the proposal of Delhi Govt. for allowing wine shops in Hotels and Restaurants throughout the day and night ( 24 * 7) , which would certainly create law and order problem particularly during nights.  A suggestion was made by Shri J.R. Gupta that the Confederation would organize a good gathering of Se
nior Citizens at Deer Park on Sunday, the 10th April, 2016 in the morning to address the Senior Citizens for creating awareness on both the issues. The Commissioner accepted our invitation

​Message from Sri JR GUpta

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Activities of Central Zone - Half yearly Report

Here is a brief report of ISU3A Central Zone on activities during last 6 months

Besides, the routine monthly meetings of Sangam and Prayag U3A units at Allahabad, following major activities were organised and programmes undertaken, in which the undersigned played a key role.

1. A special lecture meeting cum entertainment/picnic of Sangam U3A was organised at VIKALP (Dr. P K Sinha's Luxury Old Age Home) at Jhusi, Allahabad on 15th Nov., 2015.
This comprised of a talk (P. P. Presentation) by Dr. P K Sinha on "Healthy Life Style" for elderly people, followed by a Music Session and ending with a sumptuous community lunch.

2.  A Joint Meeting of  Sangam and Prayag U3A units was held on 3rd. Jan., 2016 at Chinmaya Aashram premises. The highlight of the programme was a spritual talk on "Art of Living" by Swami Yogasthanand Ji, and a repeat of Dr. P K Sinha's talk on "Healthy life Style" by popular demand.

3 . At the request of Sri M K Raina, Convener ( Education & Life Long Learning),  a one day camp on "Graceful Ageing" has been orgnised at Hardwar on 10th of June for the senior citizens of that region. The  camp will be conducted by Swami Yogasthanand of Allahabad Chinmaya Mission and Dr. Sajjan Singh of Rewa and other Mission members.

4.  Attended the crucial ISU3A Executive Meeting at Vashi, Navi Mumbai on 27th of Feb., 2016.

5.  A high profile Joint Programme comprising Lucknow and Allahabad units of U3A was organised on 12th March, 2016 at Dr. P K Sinha's establishment "VIKALP" at Jhusi, Allahabad.
The highlight of the programme was a state level Conference on the subject of "BUILDING A BETTER SOCIETY", featuring half a dozen eminent speakers from Allahabad and Lucknow.

This was preceded by a meeting of Central Zone Executive Committee, and followed by a music session and a wholesome community lunch.

G K Khare

Vishakapatnam U3A formed

This is in connection with U3A Andhra Pradesh Unit.
From the list of members in U3A web site there are only 9 members from combined A.P. out of which there are 5 from Telagana and 4 from the present A.P. All the four of AP are from Visakhapatnam. Their contact addresses are given in the attached file.
On Saturday the 19th. March 2016 at 6.15 AM we four met at beach opp. YMCA Hostel. The meeting was co-ordinated by Shri Venkata Shastri Kompella. Shri YVSR Moorty Coordinator of AP State gave file with basic information of IS U3A, objectives, Life subscription and blank application form for new entrants.
Following are the resolutions.
1.     Mobalisation of Membership
2.     Contact Andhra University staff and other Rtd. Employees Association.
3.     To meet on every 3rdSaturday of the month at 6 AM at beach road opp. YMCA.
4.     To design Logo or Banner for AP Unit. (Proposed Banners are attached herewith for your suggestions and approval if approval is needed by any other authority.
After having a cup of Coffee we dispersed at 7.15
Sent by YVSR Murty

Friday, March 18, 2016

Age Friendly College in Kerala

THIS is in India and we must all be proud of!

On a Mission to Bring 'Seniors' Back to College
By Babu K Peter Published: 28th February 2016 04:51 AM Last Updated: 28th February 2016 04:51 AM

KOCHI: Imagine attending college after retirement and being instructed by youngsters who are of your grandchildren’s age.

In a novel initiative claimed to be the first of its kind in the country, Sacred Heart College, Thevara, is all set to launch an ‘Age-friendly College.’ Under the social initiative, special courses will be offered to senior citizens to equip them to meet challenges of the modern world, especially those associated with the technological advancement in the first decade of the 21st century.

The project will start in the next academic  year with a batch of 25 ‘students’. Though there is no age barrier for joining the course, persons aged above 50 will be given preference.

“Age-friendly College is a concept wherein educational institutions offering conventional courses to the young generation give access to senior citizens for continuing/vocational education and to obtain life skills. The  highlight of the programme is its inter-generational nature. Teaching and  knowledge-sharing between different generations will be given importance. For example, a student with an aptitude for teaching may get opportunity to teach an older person how to use a computer, a smart phone or a gadget to access a bank account - an idea suggested by doctors in the  Dept of Geriatrics at Lakeshore  Hospital,” said SH College principal Fr Prashant Palajapilly.

The training programmes envisaged under the initiative include Basic Computer Training, Introduction to IT, Inter Generational Picnics/Study Tours, Discussion Forums for Elderly Persons and Retirees and Setting up of a Knowledge Hub. The ‘senior students’ will be taught by Graduate/PG students of the colleges.

“We received a tremendous response from the public when the programme was announced. Many senior citizens, both men and women, who hold high academic degrees do not know how to use technology, which could have eased the difficulties in retired life. The technological advancement and their influence on the day-to-day life  are things that happened very recently,” said Abin Ambily, student development officer at SH College who coordinates the programme.

The college has formed a core group of 45 students as volunteers to teach the seniors.

“I was part of a tour organised
 for senior citizens. They appeared to be very happy and relieved during the trip.

“While interacting with them, I could understand the issues  faced by them. This prompted me to volunteer for the Age-Friendly College when it was launched in the college,” said Anil Soorya, a student volunteer.

All women U3A group in India - First ever?

Sthree Gyan U3A Group

During yesterday's meeting in Senior Citizens Forum, Secunderabad, Dr P Vyasamoorthy announced that he has been elected as Secretary General of Indian Society of U3As. He was cheered for this development. He explained the concept of University of Third Age. Many remembered Tom Holloway (SCF member) and his infructuous efforts to promote U3A some years ago. 

A U3A group is a one that consists of senior citizens who engage themselves in some kind of learning or the other. The topic or subject, mode of learning or the duration of learning-teaching etc are not important. Those involved may not have any interest in any formal certification or recognition. He explained how individuals interested may become members of ISU3A by paying a one lifetime subscription of Rs 1100/-. For Institutions the fee is Rs 2500/-

Enthused and motivated by his talk, many members expressed a desire to start a U3A group. As a mark of celebration of International women’s day on 8th March, following persons decided to form “Sthree Gyan U3A Group.”

Ms Kamakshi Hatti
Ms Bina Sachan
Ms Indira Rajan
Ms Subhadra Murthy
Ms Sarojini Narasimhan
Ms Surekha Bhushan
Ms Sarada Ramana Babu
Ms Nalini Krishnamurthy

They will meet as often as possible to take part in learning activities of various sorts.Dr  Vyasamoorthy observed that this would perhaps be first ever U3A group in India exclusively set up for and by women. It is very likely that SCF would become an institutional member of ISU3A.

Dr Kadhiravan has umpteen degrees!

During the conference that I participated in Tirupati, I met an interesting person by name Dr S Kadhiravan. He holds:  MA in Psychology, MA in Sociology, M Ed, M Phil, PhD in Educational Technology, PhD in Psychology, Msc in Physics and PG Dip in Counseling. Apart from teaching psychology in Periyar university (Salem), he practices many alternative  therapies like Acupressure, Varmam, Reiki -- all energy based healing techniques. He does not practice Sujok and the reason he told me for this exception, I have forgotten. He is hardly about 35.

What an inspiration and an example of always learning attitude.

She got PhD at the age of 90

She made a 2 hour presentation while defending her 400 pages thesis on migrant labourers. See the pdf attachment or go to the link.

What an inspiration! If you come across academic achievers like this please share them in comments.