The MSW Department of Don Bosco Arts and Science College, Angadikadavu, has pioneered a study on the Elderly in Ayyankunnu Grama Panchayath. The study has mainly focused on the physical, psychological and socio-economic aspects. It has been a combined venture of Ayyankunnu Grama Panchayath, the Senior Citizens Forum, the Health Department, and Don Bosco Arts and Science College, Angadikadavu. The data collection was carried out by the Social Work (BSW and MSW) students of the College. The study was financially assisted by Partners in Population and Development (PPD), an inter-governmental alliance of 26 developing countries, mandated to promote South-South Cooperation in the area of Reproductive Health, Population and Development and a Permanent Observer at the United Nations General Assembly and has Diplomatic Status in Bangladesh.
The study covered 2814 elderly people (60+) belonging to 16 wards of the panchayath. The respondents were 46.9% male and 53.1% female. Living still in a rural setting, the elderly enjoys the traditional ambience of respect and regard, safety and security. Nevertheless being largely from agricultural background, the senior citizens have meager income and deteriorating health. The family support varies according to the goodwill as well as financial background of the family. So they stand in need of more societal support and governmental intervention.
The findings of the study were shared in a public forum inaugurated by Adv. Sheeja Sebastian (President of Ayyankunnu Grama Panchayat). Faculties and students of Social Work Department as well as representatives of the Senior Citizens took active part in the meeting which turned out to be very interactive.
The Elderly tends to be an underutilized treasure of our society. The findings which will be further subject to study and analysis will help to advance knowledge on the subject as well as lead to the realization that the elderly is not a burden, but a bonus and blessing.

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