Voices of youth: Challenge stereotypes of infirmity held by the young

Oct 1 is the International Day of Older Persons, which celebrates their value in society.

In today's Singapore, ageism is common. Examples include assuming a senior is not able to perform certain activities because of his age, as well as choosing not to hire a senior because of his age.

The youth in Singapore often associate old age with death, disease and disability. This is a sad stereotype. We should in no way feel that elderly people are incapable or less capable of doing things, or assume that they need to be taken care of, because of their age.

What should instead be done is to value the wisdom and knowledge seniors have gained over the course of their lives.

Just as we encourage ethnic diversity, we should strive for age diversity in society. For example, having teachers that belong to different age groups would encourage students to be more accepting of age diversity.

Together, we can combat ageism, and emerge as a society that appreciates and supports the elderly.

Avishi Gurnani, 11

Primary 5 pupil

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