The International Day of Older Persons, which is observed today, is celebrated to raise awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as ageing and abuse. The day is also marked to appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.

The day came into existence on December 14, 1990, when the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons. According to the official website of United Nations, Between 2017 and 2030, the number of persons aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 46 per cent (from 962 million to 1.4 billion) globally outnumbering youth, as well as children under the age of 10.

Moreover, this increase will be the greatest and most rapid in the developing world. Population ageing is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century.

The theme for 2019 is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 10 which will focus on pathways of coping with existing -- and preventing future -- old age inequalities, the website stated.

Aged or older people have always played an important role in society as leaders, caretakers, and custodians of tradition. Yet they are also highly vulnerable, with many falling into poverty, becoming disabled or facing discrimination. As health care improves, the population of older people is growing. Their needs are also growing, as are their contributions to the world.

Ageing is an increasing natural course and an intrinsic part of human being, but the attitude towards this natural phenomenon is taken to be as something dreadful.

So, this day gives us an opportunity to highlight the important contributions of older people and raise awareness about the opportunities and challenges of ageing in today's world.

This day is made more memorable with people taking out time from their schedule and spending their day with their grandparents, visiting old age homes and NGO's and cooking or baking for them.