TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY .
An article by Lok Raj Joshi based on a news article in Kantipur
Mr. Chandra Prasad Acharya has started a unique campaign to support the senior citizens. He himself is now 63 years old, retired from a middle income government job. At his own expense, he buys the raw materials and prepares walking wooden sticks for senior citizens. He then draws beautiful images of birds, fishes or flowers on the sticks. To deliver these gifts, he visits the elders on his own and for those who live far away, he posts them through their relatives.
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“For elders, stick is like a family member and a close friend as it is not possible for their sons and daughters to be with them 24 hours. That’s why I have started this campaign.”- Mr. Acharya explained.
Mr. Acharya initially planned to distribute the supports to 108 seniors above 80 years but later he came to realize that many of them will be left aside. Then he decided to make it 1008. These figures, 108 and 1008, carry special meaning in religious practice, he believes. In the last 8 months, his gifts have reached 550 senior citizens. He shared his joyful experience of delivering his gift to Mr. Nandalal Phunyal, 108 years old.
Mr. Acharya is currently targeting the seniors in his neighborhood in Khotang district in the eastern Nepal and thinking of reaching out to all above 100 years throughout the nation later. His friends are also happy to see his enthusiasm.
His campaign is a good example of culture of peace that expresses love and respect for senior citizens and supports them through efforts at an individual level. It shows that generosity is about great hearts rather than thick purses. His energy also indicates that being retired does not mean being tired.