Every year, October 1st is celebrated as International Day of Older Persons. October 1st is gone. But, the hardships associated with the life of older people can be seen wherever you turn. What can we do to improve their life, and how they can be made an asset to the nation?I could relate this topic very well with a conversation that I had during a train journey sometime back. I was travelling from Chennai to Cochin and that is when I met this bubbly, talkative girl who is doing her first year of MBA in a prestigious institution in Kerala. She introduced herself as ‘Tara’ and we started talking about various things, during the course of which she told about her father running an organization called ‘Pakalveedu’, (translated as Day Home), a society to take care of the lonely aged people, otherwise a home for the elderly. I thought it would be apt to add a few points from our conversation in this context.According to reports, a total of 7.4% of the total population of India fall above the age of 60. It is a matter of serious concern that most of the elderly people live in the loneliness of their homes. Some may be leading a retired life after years of full-time service. Also, there are widows, widowers, and the like. Children of most of them might have migrated outside the state for job purposes, as in the case of Kerala.The importance of the need to properly take care of the elderly comes at this juncture. According to reports from health ministry, the number of elderly people will increase to 100 million by 2013. This makes it essential to find out methods to make them actively involved in the societal activities. Elderly people spend most of the time sitting indoors, watching TV or engaging in household chores. In some houses, they are considered as a ‘burden’ by their own dear ones. Some are sent to old age homes to be taken care of, and some even to the streets.What ‘Pakalveedu’ does is that it gives meaningful fellowship to senior citizens during the daytime. Here, the elderly people find a way to engage in spiritual, social, intellectual, and physical nourishment. They could get along with people of their age, and spend their time effectively to beat boredom, loneliness, and depression. Picnics as well as healthcare initiatives like medical check-ups are conducted for their well-being.The concept of healthy ageing comes into picture nowadays. The elderly should be able to actively take part in various roles of the society taking into account their professional and personal experience. It would be useful if they can share their skill with younger generations, and volunteer in community activities for social causes. Get the best out of their wisdom, and knowledge for the development of society. All the more, they should be able to lead a life without any discrimination. And, they can be made a real asset to any nation.