Kohima: After a gap of two years, Friends of 80 plus, formed in 2002 by a group of like-minded people from Kohima village, celebrated its 17th foundation day on Saturday, honoring and paying respect to 159 senior citizens above the age of 80 years.

At the foundation day celebration, held at T. Khel community hall in Kohima, chairperson of the ceremony Vilakuolie Mere shared that out of 159 elders, 40 are from Dapfhütsumia Khel (D Khel), 34 from Tsütuonuomia Khel (T Khel), 21 from Pfuchatsuma Khel (P Khel), and 64 from Lhisemia Khel (L Khel). 

He informed that in the past two years, the village recorded the death of 54 persons above the age of 80 years, of which 15 are from D Khel, 10 from T Khel, 15 from P khel, and 14 from L Khel. 

Angami Public Organization (APO) president Razouvotuo Chatsu, who graced the occasion as the special guest, lauded the Friends of 80 plus for taking initiatives to show respect and honour the elders. 

While pointing that life expectancy among the elderly has been decreasing over the years, especially among the Angami tribe, the president of the tribe’s apex body said that it is encouraging to see the elders above 80 years, who are the strength and courage of the community. 

As he prayed for the longevity of the elders, he also sought their guidance and blessings upon the community. 

“Every year, they yearn and eagerly wait for the get-together to celebrate Friends of 80 Plus day, as it gives them an opportunity to meet each other and feast together,” Neidonuo Angami, convenor of Friends of 80 Plus said in an editorial of a photo book that was released by Chatsu. 

She shared that the enthusiasm and joyful participation of the senior citizens humbles and reminds them of how such a small initiative has created memories and led to a grand celebration of lives. 

During the event, Dr. Viketoulie Pienyü, president of Kohima Village Doctors Association (KVDA), shared tips on how to live a healthy life. The senior psychiatrist shared that elders should not be locked behind four walls and should be allowed to sunbathe, socialise with friends, exercise, brush teeth regularly, eat more greens and fruits, and be stress free. 

The celebration began with an invocation by Rev. Sehu Belho from Khedi Baptist Church. Friends of 80 Plus and Ulikhrie groups presented songs during the event. Dr. Vizolie Suokhrie, retired principal director of health and family welfare, pronounced the vote of thanks.

A medical camp for the participants was also conducted by doctors of the Kohima Village Doctors Association after the conclusion of the formal celebration.

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