January 24, 2019 07:00 PM NPT
By: Srishti Shah
Many of us associate certain age barriers with what can be achieved or the lifestyles that should accompany each age bracket. Working closely with the elderly, the founders of Aji's feel that retirement is just a career barrier - age is actually no bar for productivity. The ajis they work with enjoy staying busy, they are vibrant, productive and still pursuing hobbies actively.
Physical fitness and mental agility is of utmost importance at any age. However, staying active is most important for the elderly. While none of us would disagree with this statement, many of us associate certain age barriers with what can be achieved or the lifestyles that should accompany each age bracket. We relate to retirement ideally as laid back and a reason to slow down and let go of the many activities and chores that constitute our younger days. Many of us would hope for the same in our own older years and strive to make that the case for the elderly in our families.
But as many of us see with our own grandparents, their physical and mental state may have slowed them down, but they love to continue doing the things they love. Ajis, bajais, hajur amas often continue to knit and, those who can, keep up their morning ritual of temple visits. Bajyas, hajur bas continue their walks or help out in their own ways in the family business. Yes, they need to enjoy the latter years of their lives, but it is as important that they stay active and feel productive. At an age when you feel like there isn’t much you can contribute, giving continuity to the skills that you have in the capacity that your mental and physical state allows you to could be the key to living a fulfilling life in our old age.
Lorina Sthapit and Pursarth feel that this is the lesson they have learned working with the elderly in their venture called Ajis. They have both grown up in the company of their grandparents and are loving their work with the elderly. This couple co-founded Ajis along with Lorina’s sister Irina Sthapit to enable the elderly to utilize their skills and stay productive while their bonds with the younger generation are reinforced. They ensure that the products that tell a story of the years of experience of the maker are marketed properly as well as priced well so that the elderly makers are financially compensated and feel like their contributions are valued.
In this video Lorina and Pursarth share some lessons about age that they are glad they have learned well before time. They feel like they have learned so much and they have so much to share about age and the elderly – the primary lesson being ‘retirement is really just a term that reflects a career barrier, and age should not be a factor to stay productive on our own terms’.