‘Vayojanotsavam’, a celebration of old age, begins in Kozhikode

Senior citizens take part in an exclusive fashion show hosted for them by the Kozhikode Corporation in association with the Calicut University Centre for Costume and Fashion Designing during a get-together to mark the opening of the six-day Vayojanotsavam at Freedom Square in Kozhikode on Friday.
| Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

‘Vayojanotsavam’, a celebration of old age, being organised by the Kozhikode Corporation as part of its diamond jubilee, began at Beach Freedom Square in Kozhikode on Friday. Inaugurating the festival, Mayor Beena Philip said the way a city treated its elderly, women, and marginalised sections determined its stature as a culturally rich city.

Having obtained the Unesco ‘City of Literature’ tag recently, the city was determined to hold the elderly in high esteem, she said, while citing the elderly club, meetings, and celebrations organised for senior citizens at the ward level over the past one year.

“You have an administration that is responsible for your welfare,” the Mayor told thousands of elderly people who had assembled at the beach to be part of ‘Vayojanasangamam’, a get-together of senior citizens.

As many as 60 prominent persons joined the inaugural ceremony by lighting 60 wicks in seven traditional oil lamps set on the stage.

Presiding over the function, Thottathil Raveendran, MLA, said over 16% of the population in Kerala was above 60 years of age, and the higher life expectancy reflected the superior position the State held in the health sector.

The celebration of age began with ‘Seniors on Runway’, a fashion show by elderly models facilitated by students of the Calicut University Centre for Costume and Fashion Designing. It was followed by an orchestra led by Meharoof Raj, a physician and musician.

The six-day festival includes a national seminar with 13 sessions on various subjects such as legal aid, health facilities in the city, social welfare schemes, government programmes and palliative care for the elderly, society-centred treatment for dementia, possibilities in Ayurveda for health of senior citizens, and novel technology to make homes elderly-friendly. There will also be discussions on the concept of elderly friendly city, its possibilities, limitations, challenges, role of local bodies, and the role of media.

A senior citizens’ arts festival is also being held on a nearby stage.

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