Considering the situation and context that have been presented previously, POPE developed an intervention project at the micro level. The goal of the project is to develop awareness among the dalit community about the situation of aged people, to build a movement on the care of aged people and to provide a better life to the most destitute ones.
The intervention of program was limited to Kilpennathur Block, the volunteer’s development was open to three blocks but the message of caring the elders has gone cutting across the boundaries in the State level / National level.
The following were the main activities carried out for the Dalit elders from 2013 up to now.
The focus of the project is to provide community based care and support to the elderly people at the State level. Institutional care for the elderly is against the Indian culture. Though the institutional care is becoming popular to India at least among the rich community, copying the western culture, we believe that it is not an answer for the problem. So, we want to build a movement at the State level (and, why not, at the National level) which will be the dynamic process to sensitize the younger adults and older adults, to take care of the senior citizen.
A first step of Identification of village volunteers on “aged care and support” was conducted during the first year. It was based on the following criterion:
As it does not exist, POPE developed and conducted a special training on the care of aged people and issued a certificate.
The training includes the following:
After 3 years, it appeared that there were a need and a necessity to organize meetings for the volunteers: a need to meet them in a group and discuss the issues related to the elderly care. The volunteers sharing of experience is much valuable and it can be an educational input for others. So, at least once in 2 months, the volunteers can be met in one common place. The major agenda for this regular meeting is sharing of experience (success and failure stories), understanding the challenges and concerns, refresher training if possible with an external resource person and strengthening of movement building initiatives.