The authorities are to provide more recreational and social activities for elderly people after the crackdown on the Falun Gong sect which attracted many senior citizens. 'The situation of senior citizens' life and mental attitude directly impacts the entire society and stable development,' a Ministry of Culture circular said. The circular calls for the development of 'various healthy, beneficial, scientific, cultural and athletic activities to oppose any activities which are harmful to the physical and psychological health of senior citizens and any activities which involve superstition and pseudo-science'. Senior citizens made up the majority of the followers of Falun Gong on the mainland. It provided a place and forum for social gatherings which daily exercises provided. As a result of the crackdown they were left with a vacuum in their social lives. According to the proposals put forward by the ministry, a variety of activities will be developed and more activity centres are to be built for the elderly. Another proposal is to organise more old people to join singing troupes. A national singing festival for senior citizens will be held this summer and the ministry plans to turn it in to an annual event. A separate report by China News Service said that following the Falun Gong ban last month, authorities in Shaoxing in Guangdong province had organised free training sessions to allow senior citizens to practise shadow boxing and other Chinese martial arts exercises. 'Thousands of old people now dance and practise shadow boxing in parks and squares in the city every morning,' the agency said. According to the Guangming Daily, publishers, film-makers and playwrights have been told to put out more work that appeals to the elderly. Senior citizens living in cities that lack public areas will be eligible for discounts to parks, where cultural and athletic activities will be held.