“Our world would be a brighter place if we would all smile ourselves and share our smile with others more.” This idea of bringing joy and happiness in the life of the elders… the grandparents who are mostly forgotten by their dear ones was made to come alive in our school grounds in the presence of our older sisters, ACA and ex-students of our Institutions, in memory of our Golden Jubilee. I would like to share …. a touching and motivating event which has brought inspiration to my life.

‘Reach out in love and compassion’ was our motto when we planned to take up a big task of inviting from various parts of Karnataka the grandparents of our children, a mission, an out-reach programme. When the invitation went round to different homes there was surprise, joy and gratitude for remembering the elders. Our teachers along with the P.T.A. members came up with various ideas .The first question that worried us was ….: How to make the day ‘with a difference’ for our aging people? We welcomed the idea from the “Help Age India” to sponsor this programme with their contribution and ideas.

A new day dawned when to our surprise, the teachers, parents, neigbours and ACA members came forward to decorate, put-up items, pack –up gifts and to set the stage ready for a day of celebration. Mrs. and Mr. Derick Lobo were the first to lend us a helping hand to put –up appropriate items and plan out the day. Never did we dream that such a generous response will be received from the public. Great was our joy to accompany the parents and teachers, to run around the city of Mangauru looking for gifts and planning for snacks and lunch.

The day was a day of joy … when the band of musicians stood at the gate to welcome the grandparents those coming in autos, cars and on wheelchairs. As they entered the colorful shamiyana with balloons around, our sisters, teachers welcomed them with smiles and kisses. Great was their satisfaction that they are “remembered and cared for”. Our late Mrs. Octavia Albuquerque was the first to arrive being the ex-student and chief –guest of the day.

Prayer service, Songs, Dances and Skits made the programme meaningful and lively and tears rolled down the cheeks of the elders who expressed their joy by keeping steps to tunes and giving another show on the stage which was a big surprise awaiting us all.

A very touching time came when the children of our school walked in a line with gifts in their hands saying “We love you grandpa and grandma”. Help Age India donated a shampoo bottle and a powder tin to each of them for which we added a dry fruit packet with a beautiful cup to have a high tea. Everyone went back home with cherished memories and a grateful heart.

How nice it would be if people all over the world were to express through different acts of love and service their appreciation for the lonely, forgotten elders, in homes and ashrams? Our world would be a brighter place if we would all make our elders smile because it is a unique gift and our smile and laughter has a lot of power when people are stressed and down in the depths. A smile and a little care are the cheapest and fastest remedies for all maladies!

Sister M. Silvian A.C
Ladyhill Convent, Mangaluru


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