ARTH has been working on health of older persons in its work area since 2018, providing access to care for chronic illness via monthly health camps, referral services to higher institutions and home care by outreach workers. Our experience reveals an evident lack of self-care and a dominant societal narrative that as people become older, they are expected to progressively decline. On 1st October 2023, ARTH launched ‘Prabal Yatra’ – a community based approach to promote and enable healthy ageing among older persons in southern Rajasthan. The healthy ageing intervention doesn’t just look at treatment of chronic illnesses, but at maintaining good health among older persons in a comprehensive manner. This day was celebrated via a series of events at the block-level in ARTH’s work area.
The participants of the event were older persons already connected with ARTH via community support groups, known as Buzurg Milan Samoohs. Public representatives and block-level government officials were invited as guests to the events. Other than informing people of the launch of Prabal Yatra, people present were asked to share their experiences and also if there were any changes/additions they wanted as part of the new programme. The guests also shared their views with everyone present and agreed that such a community based programme is needed, and has begun at the right time.