Jamtara, which hit the headlines for equipping all 118 panchayats with community libraries by giving a makeover to the old and discarded school buildings, is gearing up for something new.
The district administration has decided to use the infrastructure to set up clubs or recreational centres for the elderly at the block level.
Like community libraries, the initiative is a brainchild of Jamtara Deputy Commissioner Faiz Aq Ahmed Mumtaz.
With minimum expenditure, these clubs will come up in all six blocks — Nala, Fathepur, Jamtara, Narayanpur, Karmatand and Kundhit. Like his previous initiative, Mumtaz wants to utilise old structures in block offices.
The groundwork for the project has already started, buildings have been identified and renovation is in the progression stage. Mumtaz said that these centres would be exclusively for senior citizens to interact socially, an attempt to improve their mental well-being.
Depression Among The Elderly
According to the Deputy Commissioner, the idea struck him after he came across instances of depression among certain older people due to various social issues.
"There was a teacher who used to reach students even after retirement. After his wife passed away, he went into depression and wanted to die. When it was brought to the notice of district administration, we motivated him to live a normal life. I thought why not provide an opportunity to live a dignified social life to the poor and older people by setting up these clubs at the block level," Mumtaz told The New Indian Express.
He added health camps would also be organised in these clubs.
A committee will be formed with a Block Development Officer as the ex-officio secretary to ensure proper monitoring. A person has to be above 60 to join the club. Locals are delighted to know about the initiative and believe it could go a long way.
"Since the most miserable and difficult period of a person's life is old age with no one to look after, it is a wonderful step by the district administration," said a social activist from Nala Block, Vijan Rai.