Value-building of India’s greatest Resources- Children through VALUEDUCATION
There is a great difference in the situation of the elderly a couple of decades ago and that of today, not just in India, but the world over. Essentially, the family security net always took care of their elders, be they men or women, widowed or unmarried, with ailments and disabilities or merely frail with age.

But today the scenario has changed- the family structure has changed its face from being a joint family system to a nuclear set-up, where, the adult children move out of their parental homes out of compulsion or choice, dictated by the need for better opportunities or for independent living respectively.

A world where today, the traditional Indian values of respecting elders or caring for the elders in the family have become non-issues! Further still, the values of respecting women, simple and basic values of honesty, integrity, commitment, dedication, hard work, sincerity have all given way to dis-honourable trends of violence against women, disrespect towards elders, corruption, frauds and the like.

The most urgent and very vital need of the hour is- the rebuilding of the moral fabric of Indian society, to weave in those values of yore which would make every citizen of India proud to be an Indian and an invaluable global citizen of the world.

Values for a healthy society:

A society is what its children are! For after all the children of today are the adult citizens of tomorrow. In fact, today, one of our valuable resources in the country is our children. By grooming the young minds which are so malleable, so impressionable, in the right direction, and at the right time, we would be helping nurture a healthy and happy society for tomorrow.

Similarly we also need to recognize another valuable human resource of our society- our elders. Cherish your elders- they are a treasure-house of knowledge, wisdom and experience. An old African proverb says-“The death of an elderly man is like the burning of a library.”

The wisdom and knowledge of our elders are like the roots of a society. Cut away these roots and the tree falls, so also, when we deride or neglect an elder we are sawing off the very branch that we are sitting upon!

If we are able to impress upon our children the importance of being respectful towards our elderly, if we are able to set by example the need for being caring towards our seniors, we would be grooming a generation of adults who would be able to cherish and value these ancient mores.

Children learn fast when they are taught young. And it is necessary that we bring back the value system of yore which was healthy for the mind and soul of society.

So what better than to teach the young children, the importance of the elderly in our lives; to impress upon them that, ‘As you sow, so shall you Reap!’  Everyone grows old. So give respect and get respect. If the seniors of today are happy and can lead dignified lives, we can be assured that the children of today will also be the happy and healthy elders of tomorrow.

So to restore our Indian heritage, to bring back the spirit of wellbeing of our ancient Indian traditions, we have to cultivate our young Indian minds. We have to inculcate in them the fact that our elders are indeed the backbone of our society. The well-being of our elders is also the indicator of the health of our society.

The need of the hour is to bring back the moral values of respect, trust, honesty, ethical behavior, integrity, commitment, sincerity, dedication, decorum, dignity and decency into the moral fabric of the Indian ethos.  Respect for women, for elders, for truth, for honesty are the pillars of any civilized society! Losing sight of these is bound to lead to moral blindness and depravation in any society.

Objective of this initiative on “Valueducation of our Children”:

ILC-I believes in Productive, Participatory, Healthy, Qualitative Ageing.  The ILC-I initiative on “Valueducation of our Children” seeks the participation of senior citizens as voluntary teachers of ‘Valueducation”.

The participation of senior citizens or the older persons as volunteers under this project serves to highlight the fact that seniors are still productive, still capable of giving to society, and that age has in no way diminished their quality or their capacity of being positive contributors to the development of society.

This also ensures that seniors remain active and independent and in the process healthy and beneficially occupied (not in monetary terms, but in terms of qualitative work satisfaction).

At the same time the seniors are also carrying out a very important responsibility that has traditionally been theirs and which they have carried out appreciably- to inculcate amongst the youngsters, the old and cherished values that nurture a good society.

Methodology of the project:

ILC-I’s panel of voluntary senior citizens who are interested in interacting with school children, or those who have a special knack of building a rapport with these children, are engaged in this project. They may be retired school teachers, principals, professors, engineers, grandmothers or elderly housewives or from any other profession- the common objective would be to instill valueducation in the youngsters.

Schools, be they English or regional, convent or municipality, can be an integral part of this project. The children being covered under this project are from Standards 5 to 7.

At present, there is one session on ‘Valueducation’ on one day and after a day, the children are asked to write on one particular topic relevant to the elders for an essay competition.

Prizes are awarded to the best three essays in each Standard in each school.
An inter-school competition with elocution and group skits on identified topics is to be conducted at the end of the orientation and sensitisation phase.

The first programme under Valueducation 2015 :

The first school to be sensitized was the Sant Tukaram School.  Students of Standards 5th to the 7th were introduced to the values of respect, honesty, cleanliness, hard work, with the creative skills of Ms. Sunanda Kale, a retired teacher volunteering under this programme, on the 6th of July 2015.

A team of senior citizens who volunteered to be the mentors conducted this programme with ILC-I coordinators in five schools of the Pashan area in the city of Pune.  Nearly 1500 school children were imbibed with these values in the first phase of this programme.

Strengthening our value systems:

The International Longevity Centre-India proposes to be the leader in marking the road to recovery. Recovery of our rich and ancient value system through the rekindling of our young children’s minds!

ILC-I has created, through its panel of older persons who are volunteering under this project to inculcate values in school children, stellar examples of Productive, Participatory and Qualitative Ageing!

The world can see how our elders are still wanted and are not unwanted burdens, but the treasure-houses of knowledge, wisdom and learning.
Through this programme, ILC-I rekindles the lost intergenerational solidarity as it seeks to-

“Valueducate our children of today to be the dignified elders of tomorrow.”



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