Elders enjoy HelpAge New Year festival | Daily News

Elders enjoy HelpAge New Year festival

Chief Guest Sunila de Zoysa distributing prizes.  Nishantha Gooneratne and  Samantha Liyanawaduge look on.
Chief Guest Sunila de Zoysa distributing prizes. Nishantha Gooneratne and Samantha Liyanawaduge look on.

The challenge of refreshing the minds and strengthening the lives of elderly citizens was highly demonstrated at a New Year festival held at S. de. S. Jayasinghe Grounds, Dehiwala during the New Year season.

This unforgettable festival was organized by HelpAge Sri Lanka (HASL) as a part of their social service programme, conducted annually for the welfare of underprivileged Senior Citizens. The festival was also witnessed by several foreign nationals who were on their way to the Dehiwala Zoological gardens.

This was not the first occasion HelpAge organized such a programme. Every year various social programmes are conducted by HelpAge for the benefit of Elders in addition to free cataract surgeries performed for needy Elders at HelpAge Eye Hospital, Wellawatta (Opposite Savoy Cinema). HelpAge also organizes free mobile Medical and Eye Camps island-wide for the welfare of needy Elders.

The objective of conducting this annual event was to encourage Senior Citizens to show their inborn talents even without considering their age.

The festival began around 9am under the patronage of Sunila de Zoysa, wife of HelpAge, Chairman Tilak de Zoysa. HelpAge Council Member Nishantha Gooneratne and Executive Director Samantha Liyanawaduge were also present to grace the occasion.

It was an unforgettable day for 42 male and female elders in H. P. Gooneratne HelpAge Elders Day Centre, Ratmalana.

They participated in traditional games such as scraping coconut and weaving cadjan competitions, marking the eye on elephant, breaking the pot by blindfolded person , bursting the balloon, hat passing and musical chair competitions and in the fancy dress parade. The elders were between the age group of 60 to 82 years.

Even some members of HelpAge mingled with elders in some games to motivate them. The elders every time exposed their talents to show that they are still active and could take part in games like they had taken part in such traditional Avurudu games during their younger days.

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