In the span of over 26 years, Dignity Foundation has grown from a humble monthly magazine for the elderly to a thriving organisation with multiple programmes that complement each other to provide holistic care and service to senior citizens in India.
In the words of Founder President, Sheilu Sreenivasan.
What is known as Dignity Foundation today really started as magazine Dignity Dialogue in 1995. In 1994, I came across a magazine which was then called Modern Maturity, published by the American Retirees Association (AARP). I was inspired to start a similar magazine in India for the elderly. At Tata Institute of Social Sciences, where I was working, Professor Mukunda Rao encouraged me to start one such magazine.
I quit my job in 1995 to start the magazine Dignity Dialogue as my private enterprise.
R. Sridhar – former President of Ogilvy Direct – and I collaborated and together we came up with the name DIGNITY for the magazine. But for copyright reasons, we changed the name to Dignity Dialogue. Driving from Deonar to Churchgate, the contents page came to be visualised by me, and to this day it remains so.
The first issue of Dignity Dialogue was published on April 29, 1995, which got excited announcements in over 39 newspapers and magazines.
With much of my husband’s and my personal savings, we incorporated a private limited company by the name ‘Senior Citizens Life Enrichment Services Pvt. Ltd’. By 1998, we gave up the private limited company structure to run a charitable foundation. I have not looked back since! The foundation has been steadily growing from that time. The concept of a magazine grew into a services organisation responding to every felt need of senior citizens. Today, all our programmes work together to help our members achieve ‘productive ageing’!