Country Liaisons for Asia
Mateen Ansari and Manish Rai co-founded Team Dobara four years ago in Hyderabad, India. DOBARA means Once Again, Renew, Reinvent, Reconnect. “We envision a world where the experience of people 60 years and better is treated as a reservoir of wisdom tapped to benefit our society. We believe in celebrating longevity. Mateen Ansari is a social gerontologist committed to holistic wellness in elder care. She blends the sophisticated techniques for managing ageing services from the U.S. with the social and cultural norms of India’s diverse population of elders.
Rebecca is a business entrepreneur turned social entrepreneur. Rebecca has been a pioneer in the convention and exhibition industry in Hong Kong and China since the early 1980s. She successfully founded, branded and organized over a dozen world-renowned international trade fairs and conventions. She launched a highly successful annual Age Beyond Borders exhibition and conference event in Hong Kong through the Golden Age Foundation that she founded. Rebecca has been actively engaged in community and volunteer work over the past three decades. She is a strong advocate of social entrepreneurship and social innovation in Hong Kong. She is also the advisor to a number of social enterprises, a writer, and a radio programme host. Rebecca received her B.SoSc. from Bristol University, UK and EMBA from Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Dr. Donghee Han
Dr. Han is one of the leading gerontologists in Korea and Director of the Research Institute of Science for the Better Living of the Elderly (RISBLE) where she has developed many programs for older people over the past 18 years. Her work has been officially recognized both at local and governmental levels. Her latest award was the Mayor’s Prize for her many initiatives to improve the lives of seniors in Busan, Korea’s second largest urban hub. She is a tireless advocate for active aging, and for digital literacy for seniors to live better. Frequently, she appears on TV promoting age friendly cities. Her research covers a wide spectrum of age-related issues from elder abuse to anti-ageing.
Avinash, of Pune, Maharashtra State, India, is a gerontologist who retired in 1997 from his career as an electrical engineer in quality assurance. He then studied gerontology including a course on social gerontology at the International Institute on Aging, UN-Malta (EU) with a UN Scholarship. Today, he is involved in fostering skills development, learning and working for and with the 50-plus community in his region. He is chairman of the ARIR commission of the All India Senior Citizen’s Confederation (AISCCON); advisory member of the International Longevity Center-India; president of networking for the Federation of Senior Citizens of Maharashtra; honorary consultant for Janaseva Foundation, Pune; executive committee member the Indian Society – University of Third Age (IS-U3A). “What is of capital importance to me is living with purpose,” he says.
Professor for the Department of Social Work & Dean, Faculty of Arts, Bharathidasan University, Khajamalai Campus, Tiruchirappalli- 620023, India. He represented India at the BRICS Forum on Ageing which took place during the IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in Seoul in June 2013. His contribution was on “Income Inequality among Older Persons in India – The BRICS Context”. His areas of specialization are community development and mental health. Professor Ilango is Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Transformative Education (an International Journal) published by the SAGE. He received the Best Youth Red Cross Programme Officer Award for 2004-2005 from the Indian Red Cross Society, Tamil Nadu Branch. Professor Ilango is a Life Member of AGI (Association of Gerontologists of India).
Manish has valuable cross-cultural experience, having worked for 10 years in the corporate world in the U.S. He describes himself as an Explorer of Ageing Experiences, a Social Changemaker, on a quest to Re-Define and Re-Imagine Experiences of Ageing. He inspires generations to visualize longevity as an opportunity to fortify generational solidarity. His vision is to engage older adults in meaningful ways, and challenge the status quo with his person-centric approach, innovative engaging programs and solutions.
New Delhi, India
Starting his career in advertising he graduated to become Communication Strategist and Social Commentator. After setting up Agewell Foundation as a non-profit initiative in 1999 presently he works full-time as its Chairman. Agewell currently has a nationwide network of over 7,500 primary and 80,000 secondary volunteers spread across 682 districts of India. Agewell interacts with over 25,000 old people across India on a daily basis. He is member of various consultative groups on age-related issues in and outside India. Agewell Foundation has been granted Special Consultative Status by the ECOSOC at the United Nations since 2011.
Anara has been involved in the community work of her mother Gulbarshin Kassimanova, a public school Math teacher in the former top-secret settlement, Pervomaiskii, in East Kazakhstan. After the collapse of the USSR, Anara’s parents and relatives created two rural NGOs to support the declining Pervomaiskii settlement, both socially and economically. While working for these rural NGOs, Anara received her Masters Degree in Botany in 2001 from East Kazakhstan State University, followed by a specialist degree on “Economy and the Law for NGOs” from Qaragandy State Technical University in 2002. In 2006 she spent a month in Tucson, Arizona, USA as part of the US AID Community Connections Program for “Youth NGOs.” This led to very active on-going contact with her host family that merits its own story. She is presently living in Windhoek and acting a international liaison for the two NGOs in Kazakhstan, as such she has linked her home country to the U3A movement through Tom Holloway, editor of Signposts.