BMC School Building
Opp. Lamington Road Police Station
Mumbai 400 007.
Tel : Mumbai - 022 23898078
Chennai - 044 26473165
Kolkotta - 033 24638664
Delhi-Gurgoan - 0124 5051142
Fax : 389 8082
Focus: Provide opportunities that inspire and motivate Seniors
to lead active and meaningful lives post-retirement
In April 1995 an organisation was set up to cater to the needs
of the elderly, starting with the publication of the magazine
Dignity Dialogue. In a year's time this organisation eventually
grew to add services along with the magazine and came to be
called Dignity Foundation. The Foundation is premised upon scientific
developments in the fields of Geriatry and Gerontology. It offers
structural opportunities to exercise the choice of how to live
young in chronologically advancing years.
The goals of the Foundation are two fold. One is to rid the
minds of the senior citizens of the fear that age means decline
and retirement means loneliness, isolation, loss of prestige
and so on. The Foundation works assiduously to re-instil in
the elderly minds the confidence that age and productivity are
not mutually exclusive. It does this by utilising their experience
and maturity in activities that serve the needs of the community.
The other goal is achieved by attending to the needs of the
elderly whose social support systems have weakened or are non-existent.
The philosophy of productive ageing propagated by Dignity Foundation
has found practical acceptance in a very large measure in Mumbai
city and other cities which have a clientele of magazine subscribers.
In Mumbai alone over a thousand senior citizen volunteers participate
actively in the services provided by the Foundation. The volunteers
range in age from 50 to 85 years.
Mumbai 3898078 • Chennai 6473165 • Kolkata 4741314
The objective of this service is to extend a social support
system to the senior citizens. The caller most often calls with
reports of feeling bored, lonely, depressed etc. because the
client is living alone, children are away at work, not in the
same city etc. The only help that they would like is for someone
to give them company, go out for a walk with them, accompany
them or share their interests.
Nature of assistance rendered
Dignity volunteers are themselves senior in age. There are about
500 of them in three cities. They receive training in simple
skills of counselling and help rendering.
The volunteers through their regular interaction with the client
and their families help to first identify the areas where changes
can be made to eliminate their loneliness.
The volunteer is there to:
- Be a support
- Involve the client in meaningful activities
- Enrich their lives
- Help promote interests
- Encourage meeting with other people
For Senior Citizens of South Mumbai
A new facility for day long care, recreation and community togetherness
Hiravanthi Mansukhlal Desai Lions Juhu-Dignity Enrichment Centre
Jostle Your Mind (Discourse on a topic)
Nostalgic Film Shows
Group Therapy (thrice a week)
Recreational Indoor Games
Hobby Practise (twice a week)
Bridge Classes(twice a week)
One-time Enrolment Fee: Rs. 600
Monthly Fee: Rs. 100
Refreshments available against cash at nominal charges.
Lunch Orders can be arranged against payment.
Limited availability of memberships.
Location: Dignity Foundation Office Premises
Timing: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Walk in and walk out any time. Be a member of this joyful community.
Mumbai 23898078 • Chennai 26473165 • Kolkata 24741314
Dignity Helpline started as a telephonic extension to the Dignity
Companionship service. The nature of emergency help for elders
in difficult circumstances has changed the functioning of the
Helpline. It is today dedicated exclusively for the help and
rescue of older persons. Distress calls from elders seeking
assistance are handled by a qualified social worker. Everyday
Helpline receives 8-10 calls of elders who are being abused,
harassed, neglected, or denied their rights. The trouble may
be with their children, relatives, neighbours, institutions,
The nature of help rendered:
Volunteers trained in social skills and basic counselling are
sent to the senior citizen's residence on a fact-finding mission.
Thereafter, appropriate assistance is provided to the aggrieved
caller. Dignity volunteers found that in many cases their counselling
by itself was not enough. Other types of additional assistance
are often required for an effective and speedy redressal of
grievances. The following referral network has been put in place
to deal with the above problems:
Lawyer's help to advice Dignity Foundation as well as the victim
on matters relating to property, will, nomination, transfer,
name change etc.
- A group of lawyers are available at regular intervals for
consultation to the distressed parent/s.
- Assistance has also been provided in successfully bringing
to the notice of the High Court the agony suffered by the aggrieved
parent/s who have filed cases of harassment, trespass, etc.
but had not had a hearing for as long as twenty years.
- Legal assistance is also provided in the form of informative
articles which find a regular place in the magazine Dignity
Dialogue published every month.
It has been set up with a view to expediting the solution to
legal problems and helping the parties avoid expensive and time-consuming
litigation. The forum consists of retired members of the higher
judiciary, civil and police service and a psychiatrist / psychologist
/ counsellor and social worker. The forum meets to study selected
cases presented by Dignity Foundation after all possible channels
of negotiation have been exhausted by the Foundation volunteers
& staff. These are usually cases which could have a conclusion
and benefit from advice and pressure from an eminent group of
The Police Commissioner's Office in Mumbai and Chennai have
directed all the police stations in Mumbai and Chennai that
elder abuse cases brought in by the Dignity Foundation volunteers
need to be attended to on top priority. This has already proved
very successful. Children / relatives have, in most cases, been
effectively prevented from inflicting mental and physical torture
on their parents
- Police help to warn the errant "child" to treat the parent
better. Police authority is also used to provide emergency assistance
and rescue from imminent abuse.
- The second move by the police in Mumbai has been to request
the Foundation to institute Chapter Case proceedings with the
help of the Asst. Police Commissioners who have special magisterial
powers to bind the errant son/daughter/caretaker to good conduct.
A Psychiatrist's / Psychotherapist's/ Counsellor's help is sought
for dealing with the psychological problems that are common
among the abused parents or in helping the parent cope better
with the circumstances. Clinical assessments are made on the
basis of which recommendations are given.
Assist us -There is a need to increase our network of volunteers
and we would be happy for any assistance that you can offer.
Dignity Second Careers
Dignity Second Careers was started as a separate division of
the Foundation with the objective of enabling people over 50
years of age to seek a productive occupation of their choice
that would enrich their lives before and after retirement. During
the first career it is possible that the job satisfaction gets
overshadowed by other pressures and compulsions. A second career
allows the precedence of job satisfaction over other needs.
Retirement is yet another situation that is daunting for the
person who has been working for long years. The transition from
a busy working life to retirement can be traumatic. For women
after all the productive years of home making there is an opportunity
out there to actualise their desires to contribute to the economic
mainstream. Nothing comes easy but seeking a career outside
the home even after 50 is made possible through Dignity Second
Careers. Productivity that will keep the mind and body agile
is what Dignity Second Careers is all about. It means finding
employment to suit one's particular needs in terms of time,
interest and compensation.
Through Dignity Second Careers, we provide:
Opportunities to explore career options.
Core consultancy enrichments.
One man business opportunities.
Pursuit of a passion/hobby.
Dignity Civic Service
The BMC-Dignity Foundation "Joint Venture" Agreement
In line with Dignity Foundation's practice of providing structural
opportunities to senior citizens for productive ageing, an Action
Plan was worked out with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
(BMC) towards the objective of 'Keeping Mumbai Clean'. If a
small city like Surat can achieve unprecedented success in cleaning
up the city, so can Mumbai through senior citizens who can give
the lead - that was the reasoning behind the programme.
Dignity Foundation (DF) has appointed from its subscriber database
a total of 663 Dignitarians corresponding to 221 Zones of BMC
spread over 23 Wards ( now 24). It has appointed 23 Chief Dignitarians
who lead and monitor the activities in each of the 23 Ward areas.
(as of 2002 only 20 out of 23 ward groups are active.)
The Chief Dignitarian in each Ward is responsible for mobilising,
coordinating and reporting action initiated. He also initiates
discussion for new ideas, improvement programmes, grievances,
and solution by consensus.
The Chief Dignitarian also liaises with the local Ward Officers
and undertakes supervisory roles wherever required - staff attendance,
spot guidance to staff.
DF coordinates Reports from all 23 Wards, and submits to BMC:
a.) Remedial and rectification action plan and implementation
- results of group discussions that the Chief Dignitarian has
in his/her Ward. Handling of garbage in assorted bags (degradable
and non-degradable) and instructing residents to act accordingly,
ensuring everyday clearance of accumulated garbage, responsible
disposal of debris from building /road construction, measures
for controlling the choking of drainage holes, and other cleansing
work will be the first priority.
b.) Suggestions for new/beautification ideas, and funding proposals
using local initiative - planting of trees, introduction of
potted plants, creation of localised manure through conversion
of available garbage and other related activities.
c.) Problem areas that require official intervention, and those
that cannot be handled by residents alone.
DF has appointed one One Project Director and 2 Deputy Project
Directors to help ward Dignitarians to organise and extend timely
volunteer help to the Corporation.
Magazine Dignity Dialogue regularly originates articles promoting
civic sense, report the progress of the Dignity Civic Service,
recognise important contributions of local Dignitarians and
instil in them a sense of pride in keeping their Ward clean.
Regular reporting of Awards Winners and the actual stories that
go along with the cleaning campaign will get published.
CORE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Mr.K.Radhakrishnan, Vice Chairperson
Ms Geetha Kumar, Director, Services and general administration
Ms.Indu Phadke, Treasurer
Ms Rosy Thomas, Social Worker
“Swarna” C Wing C 6,
New 18 (Old 70) , Halls Road
Kilpauk, Chennai 600010
DIGNITY EVENINGS --A meeting place for Chennai citizens over
the age of 50 years who are looking for company and for ways
and means of finding meaningful interaction. Facilities are
available for playing indoor games such as Carom, Spelcraft,
Chess, Cards and such others. Magazines are available for browsing
and refreshments for direct purchase. One time Admission fee
is Rs.1000 plus an outgoing fee of Rs.150 per month.
DIGNITY DIALOGUES - Monthly meetings based on the new release
of the monthly magazine, Dignity Dialogue, the only magazine
for senior citizens in the country and published by Dignity
Foundation. Every issue will now have a central feature about
a Chennai senior citizen, who will be invited as Special Guest
to interact with the members and audience. Anchorperson Dr.Shanthi
Raghavan, former Professor of English, Madras Presidency College,
will lead discussions every month at Longman Books central office
at Anna Salai.
PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELLING - professional services of trained
counsellors are being made available free of cost to senior
citizens who are in the grip of anxiety, depression, grief arising
out of bereavement and conflicts due to problematic relationships
with family members. Recognising the void that suddenly lands
on the senior citizen in terms of emotional support hitherto
provided by joint families, Dignity Foundation has instituted
this highly effective “treatment” programme.
DIGNITY HELPLINE - 26463165 - This service is about provision
of a responsive Social Support system to senior citizens who
are subjected to Elder Abuse. It includes offer of: 1) Rescue
and protection from physical violence from within and outside
the family; 2) Emotional support through trained counsellors;
3) Strategies for coping with difficult circumstances; 4) Legal
advice and police assistance; 5)Help to obtain admission in
Old Age Homes if warranted; 6) Counselling to family members
for better and more appropriate treatment to the elders.
DIGNITY COMPANIONSHIP - This service provides companionship
through member volunteers of the Foundation. These volunteers
are trained in social counselling and have learnt the art of
listening to the loneliness problems of senior citizens. They
visit the homes of senior citizen who makes the call to the
CORE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Mr. Rajagopal Narayan Chairperson
Mr. Radhey Shyam Agarwal
Mr. R.P Tyagi
Mr. R.P Verma
17 Nildih Enclave
Dignity Health Check-Up - A scheme for Dignity Foundation members
at affordable prices has been tied up with the Tin Plate Hospital
Dignity Legal - Legal Professionals of the District Court give
advice and help to the all senior citizens at affordable price.
Dignity Counselling - Counselling services and assistance are
given to senior citizens by experienced and trained Counsellors.
Dignity Cultural - Programmes on different topics are arranged
every alternate month for the entertainment and enhancement
of knowledge of the senior citizen members.
Dignity Computer Education - Basic knowledge on Computers, for
a duration of 22 days is given to the Members and their spouse
at affordable price and in a conducive environment.
Dignity Companion of Police - Help to the Jamshedpur Police
in controlling Traffic including other supporting services conveyed
time to time by the Supdt. of Police or the Dy. Commissionar,
Established :- January 2000
CORE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Preeti Roy - Chairperson
V. Krishnamoorthy - Vice Chairperson
Debashis Roy - Director, Marketing
S. Swaminathan - Director & Secretary
Uddalak Chatterjee - Director, Services
Khush Medora - Coordinator, Events
Raksha Lohia - Coordinator, Adv. & publicity
Dilip Ghose - Coordinator, Events - Salt Lake
Dipak Nag - Member
Lakshmi Sundaram - Ex Officio Member
Debanjali Maitra - Social Worker
Soubik Gupta - Trainee Social Worker
57B Ballygunge Circular Road
1. Dignity Companionship: Members visit the homes of lonely
and depressed senior citizens who are looking for companionship.
Member volunteers are trained in social counselling and have
learnt the art of listening to the loneliness problems of senior
2. Dignity Helpline: This is an emergency call service offered
to elders in difficult circumstances and designed to protect
Senior Citizens from “Elder Abuse”. It is attended by the full-time
qualified Social Worker, through 9 to 5 pm Tel. No 2474 1314
3. Support from Kolkata Police: Dignity Foundation has secured
support from Dy. Commissioner of Police, Kolkata. As and when
essential police help and assistance is offered to senior citizens
4. Dignity Monthly get together: All members meet once a month
when a specialist speaker is invited to give a talk. Members
eagerly look forward to this event as this gives them an opportunity
to meet and enjoy mature camaraderie.
5. Dignity Meditation Centre: Every Thursday evening practice
sessions in meditation are held at Salt Lake when Senior Citizens
of the vicinity attend and get yoga training. They also listen
to devotional songs and bhajans at the end.
6. Volunteers Meeting: A volunteers meeting is organised every
month with experienced individuals and professional councillors
giving members professional advice and basic lessons in counselling.
7. Dignity Help line Card: Dignity Foundation Kolkata, in association
with Rotary Club of Calcutta Mahanagar has launched 1 lakh HELPLINE
cards that can be easily kept in purse for access in times of
8. Special Medical Services for Members
• Millennium MRI Centre, AMRI, P-4 C.I.T Scheme, Block A, Gariahat
Calcutta 700 029
Discount of 20% on all MRI tests on production of Dignity membership
• Calcutta Clinical Laboratories,
36 Richie Road Calcutta 700 019
Dr Dhrubojyoti Banerjee, Chief Pathologist
discount of 20% on all Pathological Tests at this Clinic. They
have an auto-analyser and can carry out all Blood and other
• Southern X-Ray Clinic
88/B Hazra Road Calcutta 700 026
Dr Aroon K Chatterjee M.D
Discount of 20% on Radiological Tests at this Clinic.
• Dhanwantory Medicare & Research Centre
Chemist & Druggist
Sambhunath Pandit Street
Discount of 10% on the selling prices of all medicines (on cash
• Sri Ramakrishna Pharmacy
105 A Rash Behari Avenue
Calcutta 700 019
Sri Sunil Kumar Saha, Partner
Discount of 6% on the selling prices of all the medicines (on
cash purchase only).
Dignity Foundation, Kolkata acknowledge with gratitude patronage
• Reliance Engineering Associates Pvt.Ltd
• M N Dastur & Co.
• Justice A N Sen
• Mr Kalyan Sen
• Dr P Dasgupta
• Uditi Housing Society
• Rotary Club of Calcutta Mahanagar
intergenerational bonding through
Dignity Foundation celebrates October 1 – U.N’s World Elders
Day – as a day when very child in India will bond with its parents/grandparents
and take a vow:
"I protect your security with dignity"
Dignity Foundation is witness to the rampant presence of the
phenomenon of Elder Abuse, neglect and abandonment. Elders are
not only lonely, depressed and isolated from the mainstream,
but their vulnerability is rapidly exploited by their own children,
domestic helps, landlords and neighbours, and other anti-social
Dignity Helpline in each of the four cities receives calls from
elders and their well-wishers relating their gruesome stories
of torture, harassment and denial of legitimate rights of senior
citizens in their own families. Manned by professionally qualified
Social Workers and Counsellors, the Helplines offer immediate
counselling and follow-up services at the homes of the senior
citizen. Ranging from psychological and emotional support and
family counselling, Helplines offer police assistance, legal
redressals, reconciliation techniques, and even an in-house
"court hearing" where professional counsel to the aggrieved
parties are delivered free of cost. In a special Reconciliation
Forum, retired judges and IPS officers hear out cases and offer
solutions to the parties in conflict.
There is no substitute to children taking care of their own
parents. Reaching out to school children "Suraksha Bands" will
be distributed to all schools to make children tie bands to
The President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam commenced this
programme in 2002. His message delivers hope and advice. Dignity
Foundation holds the event every year in more and more schools
added to the reach-out.
Dignity Foundation sends suraksha bands to schools. A covering
letter addressed to the Principal explains what the Principal
is expected to do. Children buy the band at Re.1 each. They
take the band home and tie it to elders.The school arranges
for students to give the proceeds of the sale of bands as donation
to an Old Age Home nearby. This completes the sensitization
Dignity-Sujans Fund for Loneliness Mitigation
among Elderly in Mumbai
In memory of his loving parents, Mr.Harish Sujan, Professor
of Marketing, Tulane University, New Orleans, USA, has set up
a Fund in Dignity Foundation for the exclusive use of services
that will help relieve loneliness among the elderly.
Under this programme, every fortnight, Dignity Foundation, will
run a Bus Trip to a place nearby Mumbai with about 50 people
on board – people who live alone either single or as couple.
A full day programme of fun, games, food and an interesting
outing is arranged with a view to help them build a network
around themselves. The Fortnightly trips are followed by a Food
Court once a month whereby for a full day such members can find
an opportunity to meet friends again.
Loneliness Mitigation Project
Knowledge based surveys and fact-findings are also undertaken
during such trips to elicit various facets of the life of the
elderly, to be made available in published form to academics
and practicising professionals.
Mr Harish Sujan’s idea of helping the elderly was inspired by
the loving company his parents kept with each other till their
end. Here is a brief narration of their lives.
Vidi Mukhi was born in 1913 in Hyderabad Sind (now Pakistan).
She was one of 6 brothers and sisters. Her father, Mukhi Mangharam,
was a well-known businessman who ran shops in Port Said (Egypt)
and owned and managed an electric supply corporation in Sind.
She acquired great talent in music, singing light classical
songs in Sindi and Hindi, and was fluent in French.
Mr Jai Mukhi recalls Vidi: “Darling Vidi was a dashing beauty.
She went to French Lycees and played the piano from age 15 and
sang marvelously. For years she topped in Music Competitions
in Hyderabad Sind, bagging the First Prize for 4 consecutive
years. While her forte was Sufi songs of the Sindi mystic poet
Shah Abdul Latif, she was equally at home with Mozart, Beethoven
and Brahms. Having obtained an M.A. in French from St. Xavier's
College, University of Bombay, it was her ambition to be a Lecturer
in French in her home College in Hyderabad Sind. Alas, vested
interests came in the way and that was not to be. But she got
a job in her father's office. (Her father, Mukhi Mangharam Gurdinomal,
a Cambridge man and Barrister of the Middle Temple, was a merchant
prince with businesses in Egypt and the Levant, and an electricity
supply undertaking in Sind, and a multiplicity of interests
as a philanthropist and social worker.) It was when working
in her father's office that she met and fell in love with Mohan
Sujan, a rising lawyer. They were in love, and deeply in love,
with each other till the end.”
Father, Mohan Sujan was also born in 1913 and in Hyderabad Sind.
He was a diligent student who grew up to be an excellent lawyer.
He wrote over 20 books after his retirement from the Law Ministry,
most on contract law and arbitration. His first book, though,
was on smuggling, and has an element of a thriller in its writing
Mohan and Vidi Sujan were married in 1943. Following partition,
they came to Delhi with their first son, Raj, born two years
earlier. Harish was born in 1949. Vidi died in 2002 at the age
of 88 and Mohan in 2003, just short of his 90th birthday. Through
their 59 years of marriage they were devoted to one another
and to their two sons. Mohan passion for arbitration, expressed
through his books that his brother-in-law Jai Mukhi continues
to edit and revise, inspired many, as did his sharp intellect
and pragmatic ways. Vidi's passion for music and youthful laughter,
even in her 80s, her warmth and openness were a deep source
of love and comfort for her husband, sons and for her brothers
As Mohan and Vidi aged they often discussed the sense of community
and belonging that could be created amongst the elderly by sharing
interests and activities. We hope their sense of adventure and
joy will be felt by the many whose lives Dignity will touch
with their gift.
Senior Citizens Counselling Centre
A Single Window Source of Counsel in all matters relating to
In a major step to cater to the needs of the elderly Rotary
Club of Bombay Pier and Dignity Foundation together set up the
Senior Citizens Counselling Centre in the Dignity Foundation
premises in BMC School Building, Topiwala Lane, opposite Lamington
Road Police Station in Mumbai.
The Chief Minister, Shri. Vilasrao Deshmukh, inaugurated the
Centre on Wednesday, 30th May, at 6 p.m.
The Centre works Monday to Friday. Experts in various fields
are available for free consultation. They will each be available
on time slots on prescribed days on an appointment basis. Please
call for appointments.
The subjects on which the elderly can seek free guidance include:
Finance (Taxation, investment, investor complaints, Credit cards
Legal (Property, will, divorce, harassment, fraud etc.)
Insurance (Life, General and Medical)
Medical (General health, arthritis, blood pressure, eye, diabetes
Homes - Old Age homes, Dignity Lifestyle
Travel assistance and bookings -- Air and train
Security Alarm provision
It is certain that this Centre will fill a huge gap in the life
of the elderly who have to go from place to place and travel
distances to deal with problems which affect their daily lives.
In this One Stop they will get all the referral services and
information under one roof.
Phone 2389 8078 for an appointment.
Mumbai ID Card Centres
In the developed countries of the West and East senior citizens
are treated with much care and concern giving cognizance to
their special life circumstances. Identity Card is issued by
almost all western countries and the card entitles senior citizens
to special concessions and benefits.
For the first time in India an all-purpose ID card was issued
by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra in a function organised
by Dignity Foundation and Rotary Club of Bombay Pier scheduled
for on Oct 1,but later postponed at the last minute to December
8, 2001 at the Chowpathy sands.
In a meeting with the Chief Minister Dignity Foundation functionaries
had impressed on him on the need to introduce the ID card with
a view to establish the senior citizens' identity required in
many places. The card will also serve as a medical aid card,
a necessity in these days of violence and attacks. The Chief
Secretary had directions from the CM to examine and follow up
the idea. Under his instructions, the Ministry of Social Welfare
arranged for the issue of ID card against payment of Rs. 30.
Administrative charge has been vested in Dignity Foundation
and FESCOM - two NGOs who took the initiative to work for the
issue of cards.
Celebrating this "victory" the senior citizens came together
for a 2000-strong Rally starting with the NOVARTIS WALK on Marine
Drive for the Elders Day on Dec 8th starting at 4.30 p.m. at
the promenade opposite Javahar Bal Bhavan walking to Chowpathy
Since much of their physical security rests with the Police,
the senior citizens seized the occasion to tie a "Suraksha Bandhan"
to Police Officers invited from all the 79 Police Stations in
Mumbai. Police Commissioner Shri. M N Singh (C.P) was present
to provide the lead to the campaign for more security.