HelpAge holds ‘Elders’ Walk’ in Ambalantota

Elders participating in the walk in Nonagama.

The `International Day of Older Persons’ was celebrated by HelpAge SriLanka, with an `Elders Walk’ held at Nonagama in Ambalantota with the participation of over 600 elderly persons.

The ‘Walk’ was conducted in collaboration with the Southern Provincial Council’s Social Welfare, Probation and Child Care Service Department at Nonagama. Elders between the ages of 60 to 83 participated.

This year’s ‘Older Persons Day’ was commemorated under the theme `Stepping into the future, tapping the talents, contributions and participation of older persons in society’.

The `Walk’ began from the Nonagama junction around 9.00 am. HelpAge Executive Director Samantha Liyanawaduge briefed the elders about the importance of such a `Walk’ that reflects their strength and courage.

Liyanawaduge said the `Walk’ is an annual event of the HelpAge calendar and such elders walks were conducted in several districts earlier.

The oldest woman 83- year old and a mother of six children M. Somalatha who keenly participated in the `Walk’ highly commended it and said it was the first time in her life she participated in such a `Walk’.

A ceremony was also conducted at the Nonagama Cultural Centre and ten elders who are still rendering a valuable service to society, were presented with awards.

The oldest woman,105 year old Somawathi Wijesinghe was awarded with the `Rohana Viru Award’ by Southern Provincial Council Minister H.W. Gunasena.

A mother of 15 children, N.H.K. Maginona was awarded the `Ruhunu Matha Abhimana Award by Southern Province Social Welfare Commissioner, Mahesh Rajitha Karunaratna.

Ambalantota, Divisional Secretary H.Thilakawardane commended the free Cataract Surgery Programme and the Mobile Eye Care camps, conducted by HelpAge Sri Lanka for underprivileged citizens.

At last elders took part in fun-filled activities such as singing, dancing and performing in stage dramas.

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