Sailesh Mishra gave up his well paid marketing job in the corporate sector in 2004 to work full-time in the area of elder care, Alzheimer’s and development of less fortunate children. He is based in Mumbai. Because of his passion to work with elders he has started a social enterprise, Silver Innings, and later formed an NGO called Silver Inning Foundation, and also began a forum called People for Social Cause. Sailesh is actively involved with ARDSI and is Founder Sec. of ARDSI Greater Mumbai Chapter. He is also a consultant and advisor to other NGOs.
Sailesh utilizes his marketing and PR skill to market the issues of our elders through various forums and ICT /social Media. In this way he tries to reach the young and the old to sensitize and empower civil society with regards to elder care. As he works in elder care, he is very concerned about dementia and conducts regular awareness programs for it. He describes some of his experiences in the interview below.
For whom do you conduct these awareness programs?
Every year, in September, we go in for highly visible programs for a week to coincide with the World Alzheimer’s Day function. But this is not enough for the “Fight against Dementia.”
In addition to that, we try to arrange programs all through the year at various locations over Mumbai. Our target audience is mainly the elderly and their family members.
To effectively reach this audience, we work through local associations that have a sizable number of senior citizens, such as senior citizen clubs, bhajan mandals, and mahila samitis. Many of these associations are part of FESCOM (Federation of Maharashtra Senior Citizens), and our organization, Silver Inning Foundation, is also a member of this federation.
Many associations are very active and meet every week or every month. We volunteer to come for these meetings and present topics related to the elderly. We get audiences that range from 20 persons to as many as 120 persons.
Please describe the structure of your program.
Typically, our program spreads over two hours.
We use the first hour for an interesting audio-visual presentation where we explain Alzheimer’s and dementia to the audience. This includes showing them the excellent story prepared by Dr. Samuel which describes a case of an old lady who starts showing the symptoms of dementia.
The next hour is reserved for audience questions. If some of the persons present are interested, we also conduct a mini-screening for them. We also distribute reading material to the audience, and set up any further meetings for those who want them.
Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.