First magazine for elderly now out on stands | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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First magazine for elderly now out on stands

Retired French teacher Sheila Murdeshwar lives with her husband who still works, but the 72-year-old swears by two companions who always keep her occupied — her sitar, and Dignity Dialogue, the city’s first magazine dedicated to the elderly.

mumbai Updated: Apr 06, 2010 01:19 IST
Aarefa Johari

Retired French teacher Sheila Murdeshwar lives with her husband who still works, but the 72-year-old swears by two companions who always keep her occupied — her sitar, and Dignity Dialogue, the city’s first magazine dedicated to the elderly.

When city-based non-profit Dignity Foundation launched the black-and-white monthly on a subscription basis in 1995, it was the only literature available for senior citizens in a maze of edgy, youth-centric magazines. This month, with over 29,000 subscribers across the country for both its English and Hindi full-colour editions, Dignity Dialogue has finally
hit the stands in popular bookstores in over 100 cities in India.

“This is perhaps the only magazine I know that addresses issues concerning us. It would really benefit other senior citizens like me,” said Murdeshwar, a Grant Road resident who has been avidly following the magazine’s Silver Fiction pages for eight years.

It’s a section that publishes poems and short stories written by the elderly (50+ citizens in this case), and Murdeshwar has penned a few stories for it herself.

For Adi Merchant (71), a retired adman and a free-lance feature writer for Dignity Dialogue, the magazine is all about bringing calm and cheer to those who have been a neglected lot for a long time.

“Some months ago I had done a tongue-in-cheek article on sex for senior citizens, and how they can keep it going. Readers loved it,” said Merchant.

Beyond news reports, travel articles and columns on health and spirituality, Dignity Dialogue takes on the responsibility of telling senior citizens all they need to know about managing retirement, taxation, investments and their legal rights.

“Younger people have the energy to sort their legal and civil problems out. Senior citizens often feel helpless, and need to be guided,” said advocate Sumedha Rao (54), whose legal advice column gets a huge response from readers seeking
help with problems of insurance or housing societies.

Dr Sheilu Sreenivasan, founder of Dignity Foundation and the editor of the magazine, is glad they can finally afford to go on stands, at a cover price of Rs 45. “When we started, senior citizens found it very flattering that someone was putting in so much effort for them. Now it will reach out to larger audiences,” she said.