Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality 
Improve Your World Home | About Us | Sitemap | Search | Contact Us 





Home >> NPOs >> Dignity Foundation (All India)
Dignity Foundation
BMC School Building
Topiwala Lane
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

Overview

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.

Programmes

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.

Programmes

Dignity Companionship 
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:
- Assist
- Guide 
- 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
Daily Activities

Fitness Classes 
Yoga Exercises 
Jazz Dance/Exercise 
Meditation 
Jostle Your Mind (Discourse on a topic) 
Nostalgic Film Shows 
Group Therapy (thrice a week) 
Computer Learning/Surfing 
Recreational Indoor Games 
Psychological Counselling 
Hobby Practise (twice a week) 
Bridge Classes(twice a week) 
Library Facility 
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. 

Dignity Helpline 
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, etc. 

The nature of help rendered:
Volunteers 
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:

Legal aid
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.

Reconciliation forum 
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 persons.

Police assistance 
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.

Psychological Assistance
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. 

Job placements. 

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.

Chennai Chapter
SERVICES OFFERED
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

ADDRESS
“Swarna” C Wing C 6, 
New 18 (Old 70) , Halls Road
Kilpauk, Chennai 600010
Telephone 26473165

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 Foundation office.

Jamshedpur Chapter
SERVICES OFFERED
CORE COMMITTEE MEMBERS


Mr. Rajagopal Narayan Chairperson
Mr. Radhey Shyam Agarwal 
Mr. Manorajan 
Dr P.P.Chawala
Mr. R.P Tyagi 
Mr. R.P Verma

ADDRESS
17 Nildih Enclave
Golmuri
Jamshedpur 831003
Telephone 0657-2268307

Dignity Health Check-Up - A scheme for Dignity Foundation members at affordable prices has been tied up with the Tin Plate Hospital at Golmuri.

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, East Singhbhum. 

Kolkata Chapter
SERVICES OFFERED
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

ADDRESS
57B Ballygunge Circular Road
Kolkata 700019
Telephone 24741314

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 citizens. 

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 need. 

8. Special Medical Services for Members

• Millennium MRI Centre, AMRI, P-4 C.I.T Scheme, Block A, Gariahat Road
Calcutta 700 029 

Discount of 20% on all MRI tests on production of Dignity membership cards.

• 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 tests. 

• 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
Calcutta 700020 

Discount of 10% on the selling prices of all medicines (on cash purchase only). 

• 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 received from:

• 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

Dignity Foundation’s
intergenerational bonding through
"Suraksha Bandhan" 

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" 

Background

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 elements.

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 their parents/grandparents. 

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 exercise. 

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 style. 

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 and sisters. 

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 Senior Citizens
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 etc.)

Legal (Property, will, divorce, harassment, fraud etc.)

Insurance (Life, General and Medical)

Medical (General health, arthritis, blood pressure, eye, diabetes etc.)

Psychological counselling 

Property purchase

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 sands.

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.