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The word retirement should be “retired” : Dr. Yunus

The 12th global conference of the International Federation on Ageing was held in Hyderabad took place from 10 to 13 June 2014. The convention was formally inaugurated by the Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of just created state of Telengana, Dr. T. Rajaiah on Wednesday, and Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus delivered the keynote address on the occasion.

In his speech Professor Muhammad Yunus said that we may transit from phase one of life to phase two of life after completing certain number of years of work, but that should not be called retirement. There is no reason why every person should not try to continue to be active till the last day. The word ‘retirement’, he said, has to be retired. A retired person should look at this phase of his life as the most precious period in his or her life, which one arrives at after a long process of preparation. It should not be the time of ‘switching off’ or ‘packing up’ as the term ‘retirement’ implies, rather it is a period of giving full swing creative power to the society.

Dr. Yunus Photo

He said, what is now termed as the life after retirement, is actually the second and best phase of human life, free from usual responsibility of raising a family and establishing oneself in life. Phase two of life is the life of freedom and the opportunity to be whatever one wants to be without any restriction. They are not ‘retired people’, they are ‘citizens without boundaries’. He urged the participants not to identify themselves as retired judge or retired professor, and retired so and so. He said, “forget who you were, make a new person out of yourself; be what you never got a chance to be; give leadership in changing the world, join the young in their journey to make a new world”.

He suggested that older persons could devote themselves to social business, and proposed for five percent of pension fund money to be devoted to social business fund. Professor Yunus recommended the elders not to work in isolation, but to join the youth to build “a coalition of experience and innovation to create a new world”. He also said that this was a time for women to re-plan their life, free themselves from the taboos put on them, and go beyond the limits that society imposed on them.

Nobody can unplug a human being from his creative capacity just by using the word ‘retired’, he said.

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