History
Turning back the pages

The origins of HelpAge India go back to the late 1960s when the then speaker of the Lok Sabha visited his counterpart in the House of Commons(UK), who was also honorary secretary of an organisation called Help The Aged. He came back with a vision of setting up something similar in India.


But it took 7 years for this vision to take shape. In March 1974, when Mr. Jackson Cole, founder of HelpAge International visited India, an intrepid philanthropist named Samson Daniel approached him for financial help to set up a member organisation in Delhi. A far-sighted man, Mr. Cole instead offered to train him to raise funds. After a three month training course in London, Mr. Daniel and his wife returned to India and organised a sponsored walk with schoolchildren in Delhi. It was so successful that in 1975 HelpAge International recruited more staff to cover Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.


HelpAge India was on its way.

In April 1978, HelpAge India was registered in Delhi. Within three months it became autonomous as financial support ceased from UK. Soon after, in July, the Society was awarded Certificates of Exemption under Sections 12A and 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961, thus indicating general confidence in the Society’s affairs.


The Torch bearer for the Cause

It is difficult to talk about HelpAge India, without the mention of the Mr. M.M. Sabharwal, OBE, and now Padma Shri holder, who has been a virtual backbone to the organization and still holds that in good stead. He joined HelpAge India in 1981, as a member of the Governing body, after a very successful career in the corporate world.


HelpAge was then in its infancy and he was elected as President in 1985, then in 1998 he stepped down from his role to be re-elected again in 2003. Mr. Sabharwal initiated the setting up of the MMU programme and eye camps for the elderly for the first time. His commitment to the cause made HelpAge achieve the status of Premier Charity. He has also been closely associated with the formulation of National Policy of Older Persons. Today, as President (Emeritus) Mr. Sabharwal at 85 plus, is an inspiration for all.

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