24 April, 2018
Often, we read about how senior citizens have been making a difference in their society through inspirational initiatives. While many people may prefer to live a quiet, retired life, there are also many who believe that they have a lot to give to the society and the younger generations. They believe that it is their duty and a commitment to serve the community, despite their age. The story of Senior Citizen Bangalore (SCB) is one such that can perhaps inspire many other senior citizens to take up such initiatives.
This is a group of senior citizens from the Garden City of Bangalore, which was once also called as Pensioner’s Paradise. A group of them have gotten together to form an NGO to help the underprivileged children to get a better life.
Like many other good things that happen, SCB was also not a planned initiative as such. It was just a group of seniors, who happened to see some kids without shoes and took on themselves to provide the kids with shoes. Then it slowly started expanding wherein they started out helping in the schools nearby with health and academic needs. And that is how finally, they ended up forming an NGO to formally take up the responsibilities of trying to bring in a change to the society around, especially the underprivileged children. The beginning was in 2001, with just four members and today they are a huge family of 70 like-minded people, based out of Indiranagar in Bangalore.
SCB today is supporting 14 schools in and around the area, and even one on the outskirts of Hoskote. Around 4000 children come under their care, and they have also taken on three Pre-University as well as Degree colleges. They even run skill development programs and support a destitute home in Honnur. Recently they have taken on a few professional and post-graduation colleges to help the children in need.
Their aim is nothing but to ensure a better and secure future for the underprivileged kids so that they hope for a better life. The skill development programs are run in collaboration with the Unnati Foundation. These programs started in 2015 and offer the students a training program by professional trainers, aimed at helping them find good jobs. Placement assistance is also provided to these students after the program by SCB.
The course is provided free of cost to them, and the NGO also maintains a fund for scholarships. Fundraising for all this happens through voluntary contributions from members, as well as corporates, which help through their CSR funds. They have also brought in innovative ways like the Most Improved Student Award to motivate the kids to do better. They also conduct summer workshops, and tailoring and beautician courses for girls to help them to start off a career.
They were also instrumental in bringing in the Akshaya Patra breakfast scheme for the kids to ensure a nutritious, wholesome breakfast for the kids. Many other organisations have also tied up with SCB at times, to assist in many ways, like conducting health checkups.
They have set up a website in the name Seniors for Change, and you can read about them, their activities, their stories, their mission etc. They encourage people to come and join them, volunteer or donate in some form to bring their mission to success. When we see such inspirational stories of seniors getting together to bring about change in the society, it warms our hearts and brings in the hope of a better tomorrow. Perhaps, every city can have something similar to SCB to bring in the change collectively.
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