Sheilu Srinivasan

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2003


This profile was prepared when Sheilu Srinivasan was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
The Dignity Foundation seeks to create a new social safety net for Indian seniors that addresses the challenges they face in today's society. More and more retirees in India find that they are not able to depend on their children, who live overseas, for everyday needs. Many are vulnerable to harassment, violence, and abuse, sometimes by their own family members. Many feel lonely or neglected. The Dignity Foundation is giving society's elders a forum where they can help not just themselves but also others.
Sheilu created the Dignity Foundation, a membership organization with chapters in cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, and Jamshedpur, to organize senior citizens to address the social needs of all seniors within their communities. By allowing senior citizens for the first time to be involved as people in charge of their own lives and able to share their wealth of experience with fellow citizens, Sheilu is carving out a place for retirees as significant contributors to Indian society.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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