Always good to see Dr. S. P. Kinjawadekar, the 85-year-old president emeritus and founder of India’s only national senior citizens organization, the All-India Senior Citizens Confederation. Dr. Kinjawadekar, who said he was inspired by AARP to start this organization 16 years ago, was a physician for more than 30 years in his native country before turning his attention to older Indian issues and starting the nonprofit organization. He has a daughter living in Austin and was making his 3rd visit to our office in the last decade. A comparatively early retirement age (58-to-60 on average) coupled with a lack of social programs like Social Security and Medicare and Indians now living longer lives — the fastest growing segment of the population is now age 80+ — means there are rising concerns about being able to maintain the health and wellbeing of older citizens. Still, Dr. Kinjawadekar remains bullish on India’s future and is quick to point to the potential of its younger generation to make India a more prosperous nation in the future.
Meanwhile, he remains active participating in conferences throughout India and publishing articles. As to the goal for the group he founded, he simply said: “We just want a dignified life for our older citizens,” he said. “They’ve worked hard to earn it.”