President Bidhya Devi Bhandari today felicitated personalities from different walks of life on the occasion of the first National Senior Citizens Day.

Centenarian and noted culture expert Satya Mohan Joshi, senior journalists Bhairav Risal and Krishna Tamrakar, economist and first governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Himalaya Shumsher Rana, education promoter Nanimaiya Shrestha, littérateur Bhadra Kumari Ghale, artist Kalu Kumale and Deputy Mayor of Birgunj sub-metropolis Shanti Karki were felicitated by the head of state amidst a ceremony organised by the National Senior Citizens Fund, Social Welfare Council at Sheetal Niwas today.

Likewise, artistes Madan Das Shrestha, former secretary Krishnahari Baskota, former government employee Mohan Bahadur KC, social activists Prakash Gautam, Khem Raj Upadhyay, Bal Krishna Thapa Magar and Jog Bahadur Maharjan were also honoured in recognition of their service to the cause of senior citizens. On the occasion, President Bhandari insisted on the need to acknowledge the knowledge, inspiration, experiences and skills of senior citizens and utilise them for the welfare of society and the nation.

The president drew the attention of all to not let the dignity of senior citizens be hurt and ensure the effective enforcement of government facilities meant for them.

Feted personality Joshi said, "Old age is for living a more realistic, beautiful and meaningful life." He took time to advise senior citizens to try to spend quality time.

Lalitpur Metropolis Mayor Chiribabu Maharjan informed that a 10-bed old age home had been built in Lalitpur and the service would be launched soon.

According to Fund President Basanta Raj Karki, the celebration of the National Senior Citizens Day commemorates the day when the then Man Mohan Adhikari-led government had launched the old-age allowance of Rs 100 on 26 December 1994. The winners of a poetry competition on senior citizens were also awarded on the occasion.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 27, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.