As I was sipping my cup of black coffee on a relaxed day, not just it being a Sunday but also the first day since I hung up my boots after working as an Indian diplomat for 34 years, I realized that today (October 1) is the ‘International Coffee Day’.
While the world is familiar with the fact that India is an important source of high-quality tea, mainly from three important regions — Darjeeling, Assam, and the Nilgiris, not many are aware that India is also an important producer of Arabica & Robusta coffee which is grown in the South Indian States of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
I particularly find the taste and aroma of the roasted coffee beans from the Attikan Estate in the Biligiriranga Hills of Karnataka as well as coffee from the Chikmagalur region and the Araku Valley very appealing. Interesting details on the history of coffee in India are given on Wikipedia.
While I was enjoying my coffee, it dawned upon me that today is also the ‘International Day for the Elderly’ or the ‘International Day of Older Persons’, which was established by the UNGA on December 14, 1990, through Resolution 45/106, recognizing the importance of addressing the needs and concerns of older people and promoting their well-being. The theme for the 2023 International Day of Older Persons is ‘Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations.’
According to the ‘India Ageing Report 2023’, brought out by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), there were 149 million persons aged 60 years and above in mid-2022, constituting around 10.5% of the country’s population.
Thanks to better living standards and evolving healthcare in India, life expectancy has gone up significantly in the country. It is predicted that by 2050, the elderly population will double to 20.8%, with the absolute number rising to 347 million. The report predicted that by the end of the century, the elderly will constitute over 36% of the total population of the country.
Another interesting report on the topic is ‘Elderly in India 2021’ produced by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
I will end my thoughts by reiterating the importance of supporting the well-being, dignity, and rights of elderly persons and promoting a more inclusive and age-friendly world.