Bharti Singh of Sa-mudra Foundation tells about the initiative to prevent the suicides
Banglore:MMNN: 6 January 2020
Year 2008, early in the morning I sat with a cup of coffee to read the newspaper hoping for some bright news to start my day with. As I was skimming through the headlines to make a first choice of my reading, what caught my attention was a headline that said "Karnataka is one of the highest scorers in the list of suicide ranking". It was heart wrenching to see the statistics detailing young people in the age group of 13 to 35 being more vulnerable and opt for suicides. It broke my heart and I sank into a deep introspection of what could be the reason young people choose to take away their lives instead of facing the challenges boldly and deal with their issues bravely.
When I ventured in to the study of human mental health and psychology behind self harm through a professional course at NIMHANS, I got a complete idea of what pushes the youngsters to take such a drastic step in life of choosing death over life. It can be any reason from having a very inferior self image, not being able to cope with the unrealistic expectation of the academic places like schools and colleges, peer and parents pressure to score high and perform more, not getting a job to losing a job in a work place, relationships gone sore with parents or siblings, love failures etc. What was shocking is that even for silly reasons like the 'boy friend or girl friend is neglecting them, parents scolded them in front of relatives, parents didn't buy a thing they demanded for' had lead to hanging by death and cutting their veins.
Something must be done. This can no not go on like this, said my heart. The only reason probably they choose death is that they want to end their miseries. May be they do not have someone to share their pains and seek help, may be they can't share it with anyone including parents and friends, may be no one is listening to them. That's when the idea of becoming a counsellor to help these people arose and SA-MUDRA FOUNDATION was founded.
Since August 2008, SA-MUDRA foundation has been constantly listening to those who are not heard, standing by them as their confidant where they can spill their soul and share their deepest secrets and pains. We provide Mental Health First Aid to people with suicidal tendencies by having a very cordial conversation to make the counselee comfortable and find a ray of hope.
We invented a YUVA SAHAYA VANI (YUVA HELPLINE) -9880396331 a telephone number where the distressed and depressed youth can reach out to seek a mental health first aid. Our professionally trained and thoroughly educated counsellors listen deeply with compassion and guide them on the path most suitable to their issues to effectively resolve them and to see the brighter side of the life.
Having had a deep understanding of the innumerable causes of depression, suicidal tendencies and other forms of mental health issues, we designed a program for the youth which is called as "Moulya-Kaushalya" a program which is intended to redesign the life for the youth with such challenges. In this program we seek to make the individual understand himself deeply through various personality development and soft skills training programs. We also train the youth from rural and semi urban backgrounds on the basic skills required like computer skills and communication skills to procure employment to sustain themselves in this challenging environment. We have so far positively impacted directly or indirectly 1, 38,000 youth and parents whose lives have transformed for the better due to SA-MUDRA FOUNDATIONS intervention.
Our good work is recognized and appreciated by many individuals, Government of Karnataka, many educational institutes and corporate houses alike. They are our active partners in spreading the joy of living well. However, we face challenges when people question us asking what can be so tough for a young person who is expected learn life the hard way. It is not easy to convince donors to see that mental wellbeing is of immense importance as it decides all other factors of a person's complete well being. We would be glad if we can get support from the public in terms of reference to our counselling services, volunteering services and gracious donations to support our cause and help us reach out to as many youth as possible.
Call YUVA SAHAYA VANI for counselling services: 9880396331
You can send in your donations to:
Account Name: SA-MUDRA FOUNDATION
Bank Name: State Bank of India
Account Number: 35985114178
Branch: 8th Cross, Malleshwaram,
Cheque to be written in favour of SA-MUDRA FOUNDATION
Visit : www.sa-mudra.org . www.samudra.1ngo.in
NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DOWN SYNDROME HELD
Bhopal:MMNN: 26 March 2018
A National Conference on Down Syndrome was organised by the National Trust under Ministry of
Social Justice and Empowerment here today. Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chairman, National Trust
inaugurated it in the presence of Shri Mukesh Jain, JS & CEO, National Trust, Dr. Surekha
Ramachandran, Chairperson, Down Syndrome Federation of India and various stakeholders
associated with Down Syndrome. A book entitled Twilights Children based on the lives of person
suffering from Down Syndrome was released on the occasion. The conference brought intellectuals
from all walks of life on one platform to spur ideas and channelized knowledge on Down Syndrome
which was very beneficial to enable a positive change in the people with Down Syndrome. People
with Down Syndrome and their parents were invited to share their inspirational stories.
Down Syndrome is a chromosomal condition associated with intellectual and learning disabilities.
Delayed development and behavioural problems are often reported in children with it. For seeking
commitments of various stakeholders and increasing their awareness about Down Syndrome,
National Trust organised this National Conference on Down Syndrome.
On 19th December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared to observe 21st March as
World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) and since then every year, this day is officially observed by
UN to create awareness about people with Down Syndrome. The objective of this conference was to
provide excellent opportunities to the parents to obtain information about latest development in
education and skilling and inclusive living of persons with Down Syndrome. Moreover,
Assessment/Screening sessions were also conducted for the children with Down Syndrome.
After inaugural session, the 1 st Session on Down Syndrome-Health issues held with the Panel
Discussion and Question-Answer Session with the renowned Doctors from AIIMS, Dr. RML
Hospital and Safdarjung Hospital. The 2 nd Session on Down Syndrome- Possibilities and Growth &
Development held with the Panel Discussion and Question-Answer Session with the renowned
Experts working in the field of Down Syndrome. The Concluding 3 rd Session on Down Syndrome-
Queries on Disability Certificate held with the Panel Discussion and Question-Answer Session with
the Senior Doctors of reputed hospitals.
The National Trust is a statutory body set up by an Act of Parliament for the Welfare of Persons with
Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities under the Department of
Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
Since, the inception, the National Trust has been running various schemes and programmes for the
welfare of these persons with disabilities. Amongst these one of the major activities is creating
awareness amongst the general public by organizing various workshops, seminars and conferences on
these disabilities and the capabilities of such persons.
Hapiness Index International Workshop at Bhopal
Bhopal:MMNN: 21 February 2018
The Madhya Pradesh Government, which has formed the Anand department first in the country, has taken a unique initiative while expanding the activities of the Anand department. A Happiness Index International workshop is being organized at Bhopal on February 22 and 23. Experts from the United States of America, Dubai, Canada and other countries besides India are participating in the workshop, being organized with the collaboration of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. The State Anand Sansthan has signed an agreement with the Indian Institute of Kharagpur to identify happiness index, measures to make people happy and its development. The workshop will begin at 10.00 a.m. on February 22 at Jehanuma Palace Hotel. Participants of the workshop will also meet Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
A total of 4 sessions, 2 on the first day and 2 on the concluding day will be held in the workshop. The Additional Chief Secretary, Anand Department, Shri Iqbal Singh Bains, Chief Executive Officer of the State Anand Sansthan, Shri Manohar Dubey, Prof. Raj Raghunathan (USA), Dr. David Jones (Dubai), State Election Commissioner Shri R. Parshuram, Prof. M.K. Mandal, Prof. P. Patnaik, Prof. P. Mishra, Prof. J. Mukherjee, Sushri Janamoni, Shri Girja of I.I.T. Kharagpur and other participants will take part in the workshop. Similarly, Prof. Prateep Nayak, Dr. Samdu Chetri, Sushri Radhika Punshi, Prof. Poornima Singh, Prof. R.C. Tripathi, Prof. Rekha Singhal. Prof. S.S. Rekhi, Prof. Lilavati Krishnan, Prof. Janak Pandey, Prof. Kamlesh Singh, Prof. Vijay Kumar Shotri, Shri Rajul Asthana, Shri Akhilesh Argal, Prof. Ganesh Bagdia, Prof. R.S. Pillai, Prof. P. Mishra, Shri Vishwapati Trivedi and Prof. Rajshekhran Pillai will participate in other sessions.
It may be mentioned that work on various ideas to determine the level of happiness index has been undertaken in Madhya Pradesh. Work to enhance the level of happiness has been carried out in Bhutan and other countries by increasing the materialistic facilities, whereas in Madhya Pradesh, activities have been conducted by considering the increase in internal and outside happiness, following a fundamental method. The workshop being organized at Bhopal is important because arrangements have been made in Madhya Pradesh by determining its own happiness index to enhance the level of common men happiness, different from the index adopted by other countries. Taking benefit of the experiences from the works carried out in other countries in this field, the Anand sansthan has implemented several different programmes in the state in the past. This include activities like taking citizens services as Anandak, Alp Viram programme, Anandam activities, Anand Utsav at over 7 thousand places, Anand Calendar, Anand camps, Anand Club, Anand Sabha and an activity to send government officers and employees government for training at Isha Foundation besides other institutes at government expense. The 2 day long workshop is a unique initiative in the direction to enhance the happiness among the people, which will become foundation to realise new concrete efforts.
Primary school children studying through digital medium
Bhopal:MMNN: 21 February 2018
Samnapur Jado is a village in Devri development block of Sagar district. Students of this primary school are being taught through digital medium. Children are being educated through LCDs and laptops in the school. Children are learning to write in cursive writing in this first digital school of the district. They are also learning multiplication, division, subtraction and addition in a more interesting way. Digital medium has made learning tables, counting, spellings and poems easier for children. District administration officials were surprised to hear a third class student Satyendras quick recital of the table of 19 when they came to the school.
The level of education has increased in the village due to digital education. There are several such children in the school who have left private schools to take admission in this school. The school is setting up an identity as a model in the district. Enthused by success of the school, district administration and Department of Education have begun the process of opening another such school in the district.
Bagda village sets an example in cleanliness
Bagda village is about 15 kms away from Bhander block of Datia district. The village became totally transformed after the cleanliness campaign. There are C.C. roads in all the streets. The drains and roads are clean. Toilets have been constructed in the whole village and special attention is being paid for cleanliness. Villagers who used to defecate in the open until some time back, are now using toilets.
Karan Singh, Bhagwat Singh, Munnalal, Arvind etc of the village say that now we all like our village very much. Children have also learnt to maintain cleanliness which has reduced illnesses to a great extent. Earlier one would have to see garbage, mud etc as soon as one entered the village. After the cleanliness campaign the roads have become so clean that one feels he has entered a township.
A team from West Bengal visits State Happiness Institute
Bhopal:MMNN: 21 February 2018
A delegation of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Khadagpur of West Bengal, visited State Happiness Institute today. The delegation members received information about activities of the institute. The team from Khadagpur was informed that activities of State Happiness Department have started since January. Many activities were held through State Happiness Institute in one year.
On the occasion, the team was informed that online registration process has begun for participating in Happiness camps by the state Happiness Institute. Online registration will be carried out for government officers participating in Happiness camps in the year 2018 through Initiative of Change, Panchgani, Pune, Art of Living, Bangaluru, Isha Foundation, Koyambtoor. The arrangement has been made so that government servant (Anandak) get registration him or her self on the institute's website. People were motivated to donate things of domestic use, which are not necessary for them. The appeal in this regard yielded good result. Different parametres have been set for Happiness index. Efforts are underway to include it in the scheme, by holding an international workshop. Ideas are being received through question to find out which indicator has how much weightage. Initiative has been made to implement measures for increasing happiness in the public through original methods.
Director of State Happiness Institute Shri Neeraj Vashisth, Shri Sandip Dixit, Shri Pravin Gangrade, Dr Ashok Janvade, Shri Ambarish Shrivastava, Shri Lokendra Thakkar welcomed the delegation members
Special School and Combined Hostel to be Opened for Divyangs at Sagar
Bhopal:MMNN: 21 February 2018
A special school and combined hostel will be constructed in Sagar district for Divyangs. An amount of Rs. 6 crore 67 lakh 58 thousand has been sanctioned for this 100 seat special school and hostel. Moreover, permission has also been given to PIU, Bhopal for the construction from the State Destitute Fund. This conditional permission has been given under the rule of the Act made for the assistance of destitute and poor persons of Madhya Pradesh and the estimate received from the Project Director, Public Works Department.
The construction of this special school and combined hostel will be carried out by the PIU, Bhopal according to the approved technical design. In case of low quality construction, payment against next installments will not be made. Progress of the construction will be monitored by a committee formed under the chairmanship of the collector. Possession of the building will remain with the social justice and disabled person welfare department.
Emphasis on excellent research proposal useful for society.
Bhopal:MMNN: 16 January 2018
Two aspects are most important before preparing research project proposal. The first is why the concerned subject has been chosen for research and the second being how it will benefit the society. The proposals subject should not be new. The title and budget in the project proposal is most significant. This was expressed by Scientist G of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)s National Geographic Laboratory situated in New Delhi Dr. S.K. Dhawan during a lecture on Various Components of Research Project Proposal.
About 125 participants of 22 subjects from 12 universities of state took part in the methodology and networking workshop to prepare high quality research project by the University Coordinators Cell of M.P Council of Science and Technology. Dr. Dhawan told that there is a fixed methodology of writing a proposal. While preparing a research project proposal summary, time limit and literature review has special importance.
Director General of the Council Dr. Navin Chandra said that the research should benefit the society. He said that merely getting a paper published does not fulfil the objective of the research project. Science Popularisation Group Head and Chief Scientist Dr. R.K. Arya gave information about the online portal of MAPCOST in a demonstration.
GS and GI Group Head and Chief Scientist Dr. Tasneem Habib gave information about the various programmes and financial assistance being given for various projects by the Council. University Coordinator Cell Incharge Dr. D.K. Soni told about the objectives of the one-day workshop
FARIDABAD WILL BECOME A MODEL DISTRICT IN COTPA COMPLIANCE.
Bhopal:MMNN: 10 January 2018
During December 2017 the Faridabad Police cracked down on smoking in public places by fining a record 2338 people violating COTPA (The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003) in Faridabad. This was done in 2 drives during the month of December ordered by the Commissioner of Police, Dr. Hanif Qureshi.
The Faridabad Police Commissioner had launched the campaign to enforce COTPA about a year back. Since then all the 19 police stations of Faridabad had been sensitized and trained with help of Sambandh Health Foundation. This campaign is supported by Fortis Foundation in Haryana. Many awareness drives were conducted as well as low-level challaning has been done in this year. Total number of COTPA violations in the last one year is 3163. Police Commissioner, Dr Hanif Qureshi observed that the purpose of enforcement is not to fine violators, it is to ensure that there is compliance of the law. The people who use tobacco in public endanger those who do not, especially children. For the better health of the people of Faridabad strict enforcement of COTPA is necessary. Sanjay Seth, Trustee, Sambandh Health Foundation presented memento to Dr Hanif Qureshi for the leadership in this campaign. Balabgarh city, Saran West, Sarai Khwaja Police stations which did exceptionally well were also acknowledged.
COTPA (The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003) prohibits smoking in public places, direct/indirect advertising, sale to/by minors, sale within 100 yards of schools and mandates pictorial warnings on all tobacco packs. The Commissioner of Police, added that in spite of adequate warnings the violations were continuing and we decided on conducting drives. These have been successful and much appreciated by citizens and parents of Faridabad. He stated that we will now continue such drives to make it Tobacco Free Faridabad as a model district.
Dr Somil Rastogi, of Sambandh Health Foundation who is in charge of the Fortis Foundation-Sambandh Tobacco Free Haryana Campaign said that 19.7% of people in Haryana smoke, either bidi or cigarettes, but the health of the other 80.3% is impacted. 10% of the estimated 28,000 people who die every year in Haryana due to smoking have never smoked themselves.
The intensive campaigning by Faridabad Police has been well received by the citizens. H. S. Malik, Chairman of FMS School in Sector 31 said Police are doing a great job as tobacco vendors outside schools entice children to try tobacco products making them addicts and destroying their lives. Only the Police can stop these vendors.
Anil Behl, President of the Rotary Club of Faridabad Midtown said that such campaigns will protect non-users and make for a healthier Faridabad. The Rotary fully supports this campaign and our members will be involved in creating awareness about COTPA in Faridabad. We will also distribute No smoking signages in the city.
Gurgaon Police sensitised on Mental Illness.
Bhopal:MMNN: 16 October 2017
Gurugram, 14 October, Sambandh Health Foundation carried out a sensitisation session on Mental Illness with the entire Police force of Gurgaon (SHOs from different Police stations), in the presence of the senior most police officers of Gurgaon.
The attendees were told about various aspects of mental illness, and advised on how persons with mental illness should be treated and in particular, those at the lowest rungs of society and the homeless, who are often ignored or treated harshly.
A person suffering with mental illness also spoke of his experience, and of how he had always looked for empathy and understanding.
Rita Seth, head of Sambandh, said, the Police is perhaps the force most acquainted and in touch with all sections of society, and thus regularly come into contact with persons with Mental Illness. Here, a knowledge of such disease, the symptoms and possible ways to deal with the persons with empathy and assist them is vital.
The audience asked relevant questions, which demonstrated their knowledge of and interest in the subject. They were also given relevant material to be put up in their police stations.
Sambandh Health Foundation is a public charitable trust doing pioneering work in the area of recovery for persons with mental illness which is a major social problem. Some 10% of the population suffers from mental illness, and 3% with severe mental illness - which means there are 40 million persons with severe mental illness in India
Their lives had been over-shadowed by stigma, lack of confidence, isolation within the family and in society and had placed them on the fringes. Sambandh wanted fuller lives for each one of them as a natural part of the community, as contributing members.
In this, Sambandhs internationally-proven recovery model, their Community Integration Centre, the Outreach and Family Self Help Group programmes and their awareness activities have led to outcomes that are both remarkable and heart-warming. The recently initiated Village Mental Health Programme, takes Recovery to villages in and around Gurgaon, making it accessible to the local people. And the newest, a Group Home, provides the opportunity for home-like, independent living
Sambandh addresses mental illness, promotes mental health and enables those affected to lead a fuller life
Sambandh celebrates International Mental Health Week.
Bhopal:MMNN: 08 October 2017
The International Mental Health Awareness Week (October 4-10) culminates on the International
Mental Health Day on October 10, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health
issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
This provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about and
highlight their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people
During this week, Sambandh Health Foundation has been and is organising Workshops and
Plays, Games, Other Activities, and Talks. This year, these are planned around the recently passed
Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
A play presented by Sambandh team at the psychiatry OPD of the Civil Hospital in Gurugram, it focused
on the unheard voice of people living with severe mental illness- their struggle and triumphs.
There was a sensitisation workshop with the medical staff of Alpha Healthcare clinic in Basai village. The
workshop focused on the perceptions, issues, stigma and early warning signs of Mental Illness. This session
looked at prospective active engagement of community in recovery of people living with mental illness.
A workshop was organised at Ayush Educational Institute in Amar Colony, Gurugram. The sessions were
held for the para medical staff and students of the institute, where various aspects of mental illness were
covered through interactive games and discussions.
Sambandh Health Foundation is a charitable trust doing pioneering work in the area of mental health,
which is a major problem in India. Some 10% of the population suffers from mental illness, and 3% with
severe mental illness which means there are 40 million persons with severe mental illness in India!
Sambandh works its their unique recovery model, and advocate with and provide programs and services
for people with mental disorders, their families and caregivers, and to enhance and promote the mental
health of individuals and communities.
Beginning with the mentally ill and their families, it encourages them to realise the condition, overcome the
perceived stigma and encourages them to seek medical (psychiatric) help. In this process, Sambandh works
with families, the mentally ill and society to assist with care and recovery, helping the persons with mental
illness come out of their self-imposed worlds and become integrated with the community and society. This
is done through them regaining their self-esteem, interacting, relationships, recreation and tasks. Further,
Sambandh has been running a village mental health programme, and now a home for community living
and jobs to completely assimilate the persons back into society. Throughout this, there is constant
interaction with psychiatrists in the area.
In all this, it works will a well-known Canadian professional, Nancy Beck, who is an advisor to Sambandh.
Sambandh addresses mental illness, promotes mental health and enables those affected to lead a fuller
Report by a team of concerned citizens following a visit to the areas under submergence of
Narmada in Dhar and Barwani.
Bhopal:MMNN: 7 Aug 2017
On Aug 4, 5 and 6, 2017 a team of concerned citizens visited some villages in Madhya Pradeshthat
have been affected by theraising of the height of SardarSarovar dam in Gujarat.The villages include
those coming under submergence and those identified by various agencies to rehabilitate the PAF
(Project affected families).
Salha village in Dharampuri tehsil that witnessed frenetic construction activity with tin shades being
erected to settle project displaced persons has at present a small percentage of people meant to be
relocated to the site. The present status of activity shows basic amenities like regular water supply,
drainage, electricity supply, toilets etc would need quite some time to reach the colony - a major
disincentive for the PAF to shift to the new location.
In Salha and another village Nimola some PAF have accepted the proposal to reallocate but they are
still not prepared to give up claims on their original property till basic infrastructure like roads and
sewage disposal facilities are ready.A plot allotted to a Muslim woman (Divorced for the last 8 to 10
years) with 2 young children has Adivasi burial ground on it. Almost all areas, earmarked/allotted are
much below the road level, and need a lot filling before taking up construction. This is besides the
extra road for foundation in the black cotton soil. Submergence would turn a large area into an
island with no approach bridge.
In a couple of other villages near Dharampurithe area identified for resettlement is a large stretch of
unlevelled slushy land unfit for immediate construction activity. The black cotton soil that runs deep
in the area discourages construction activity at a cost envisaged by the government. A house built on
the black cotton soil will cost 50 per cent more than the normal.
A visit to the original abodes of the PAF reveals the reasons for the hostility to governments
haphazard rehabilitation norms.
A three-month compensation package of Rs 20000 + 60000 = 80000 has been fixed, irrespective of
the size, need (medicine, medical treatment etc.) of the families who opt not to avail of temporary
three-month shelters. Even a temporary shelter of the same size cannot be accepted irrespective of
the size of the family.
Ekalwara in Manawar Tehsil has different flood level marks drawn to bring some houses under
submergence and exclude others arbitrarily. For a haweliowned a large undivided family of
JagdishSingh Mandloi the government has quoted Rs 12000 as compensation, a pittance by any
standards. Some much smaller houses are also being offered the same compensation. Compensation
for land lost can never be the same, irrespective of the size.
Another example of flawed planning is seen at the rehabilitation site of Nisarpur. 30 families
originally located in the area have been rendered landless to make room for the prospective arrivals
from five other villages. These families are now running from pillar to post to get compensation
through land or finance. A large percentage of the proposed resettlement sites in this area are
without regular water supply despite years of existence.
Nisarpur, a large village of 10 thousand people claimed to be the model of rehabilitation activity by
the government shows that the work in progress will need months to finish. The ensuing process of
rehabilitation could take years.
An alert for hazardous consequences of locating some families in the tin shades came from Nisarpur
where 3 persons were electrocuted while working on electricity supply line. All it would need is a
minor exposure of live wire against tin to cause numerous causalities.
ChhotaBarda in Anjar Tehsil is said to have been mostly evacuated if one were to go by the
governments version. Though the villagers live in tension but the evacuation is only marginally
completed. The administration tried to shift a school to a new rehabilitation site. It retraced its steps
on realising that the facilities were abysmally low at the new site.
The level and the volume of discrepancies clearly reflect a long-time neglect and therefore it will
now need several months to intensive effort to complete the rehabilitation process, including the
revival and enlargement of the role of GRA for quicker grievance reddresal. A wing either
independent or under the GRA, for field verification and reporting needs to be created urgently to
connect with the GRA and the other agencies involved.
The project affected families say they were being coerced to sign papers (VachanPatra) to forsake
claim on their original property even before their rehabilitation.
There appears to be a total mismatch between the NBA and the government officers, whereas both
swear by truth. Only a third party, legally equipped, can help resolve the issues involved.
The government's claims on preparedness for resettlement are supported by a large set of
photographs of various community projects like schools, PHCs, Community centres, water tanks and
houses. They are obviously picked up selectively from diverse locations not related to the areas
where relocation is due. But there has been glaring mismatch in the government's claim regarding
the work at rehabilitation sites and the teams observations.
The team comprised Shri S C Behar, former Chief Secretary to Government of Madhya Pradesh,
ShriArunGurtoo, former Director General of Police, Madhya Pradesh, Shri L S Hardenia, Senior
Journalist Columnist and author and ShriChandrakant Naidu, Former Regional Editor, Hindustan
Times, Indian Express and former Executive Editor Free Press Journal.
OLD AGE HOME:MISSING THEIR BELOVED CHILDREN-WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE?
Bhopal:MMNN: JULY. 31, 2017
I happened to visit an old age home in my city, for attending the birthday celebration of my friends son. Though the celebrations went well and we thoroughly enjoyed the company of all the oldies here, but I felt something missing, leaving some unanswered questions in my mind, which I thought of penning down.
A smile on their wrinkled faces and their lively charisma could hardly conceal the eternal pain in their last stages of life, despite the availability of materialistic comforts. They were still missing the company of their beloved children and loved ones, whom they loved from the bottom of their hearts and sacrificed a lot for their happiness.
Some resided in the Apna Ghar, a home for the elderly by choice, while some were abandoned by their children, giving them no choice but to choose an old age home. Some came here out of despair while for some; circumstances played a vital role in bringing them here.
It is rightly said that Parents are the bones on which Children cut their teeth. A lot has been talked about how tough parenting is and how much it demands, still the parent always selflessly contribute for their children. Parents consider them as their own piece of heart, and care so much for them, love them, caress them, cater to their needs and ensure their transformation to as a better human being and in this long process they eventually become old.
Our life as a human being is marked by successive changes beginning from gestation and culminating into the death bed travelling through a life cycle phases like infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and senescence. In this stage we gradually begin losing our vital mental physical capacities, which is the onset of ageing with time.
Unlike earlier generations, when joint family culture was a mandate of the society, it has now become the relics of the past. Now, old and elderly are considered as a liability, which is possibly one of the biggest disadvantages of so called progressive modern society. Many questions strike our mind when we think upon it as a human being, Have we really become so mean and selfish Have we become so busy and self centered that we cannot invest even small portion of our time, love and money for those who had given their entire life, affection and money for us. Are we not abandoning our own creators
During the visit, I took this opportunity to dig in to the lives of a few people there, and I was in a way happy that they chose to reside in the old age homes, rather than being subjected to the torture given by their own children.
When fate takes a call:
In the case of Blossom Singh Verma, fate played an important role. Her life turned topsy turvy after her husband was cheated in business and suffered huge loss.
Marriage was never in my mind. I always wished to serve my parents who were ailing and wanted to be with them. Then my husband came with a proposal that even my parents can stay along with us so on the insistence of my family, I agreed to get married to him. I have a son and a daughter. Everything was running fine, we were well off and my husband had his business. Unfortunately, after we moved to Bhopal, my husband suffered a major loss in business. In that depression he just left us. I then suffered a paralytic stroke and my daughter became the leading lady of our house. She used to take care of her job and look after me and also bear the expenses of her younger brother, Blossom said.
Then, she got an opportunity to work in Pune, which she was planning to resist because of my illness. My son is still pursuing his studies and I did not want to burden him more. So we decided that I move into an old-age home so that my children can first achieve their heights and then we will move in again together, she added.
Losing their loved ones:
A poet, a violinist and a lawyer a member of the family who didnt wish to be named, hailed from a wealthy peasants family from Hoshangabad. He completed his studies from Itarsi and came to Bhopal to practice law. Talking about his story he says, I am a man of my words. I went to Nagpur University to do law and also learnt short hand typing. My love for music, bought me to All India Radio where I worked for several years. I have four children, two sons and two daughters. After I left my job, post an argument with the IAS in charge, I practised criminal law, he said.
All was good till my sons got married. Both my daughter-in-laws started demanding my property being transferred in the names of my sons. However, I opined that it be evenly distributed among all my children including my daughters. A few years after this argument began, my wife fell ill and eventually passed away three years ago. On the very same day when we concluded her last rites, I was utterly shocked when my sons came and asked me to be live my own life separately. But I had no other option.
This is how, I came here. I loved my wife, more than I loved myself. With my sons leaving me, and my wife leaving abode, I feel as though, my life had no meaning and I began questioning my existence. I was so appalled that I immersed all my trophies, medals and certificates in the holy Narmada river along with the ashes of my wife and here I am waiting for death.
These experiences have shaken me deeply and has questioned : Does humanity still exists or it is slowly dying its death & a day will come when there will be no room for elders? There is a serious need for the society to have a relook into this issue from humanity perspective and it is the moral duty of everyone make the elders feel good in the last stages of their life, when they need us the most.
ABOUT THE WRITER:DR.SMITA GUPTA
Dr. Smita Gupta is MBA ,Phd (Management)Dr .Gupta served an Director at management Institute.Her interests include working for child Sexual Abuse,Bachpan Bachao Andolan.She is also active member of the Think-Tank Forward india Forum.
Metro Mirror - Forward India Forum and Deeshanjali celebrated Valentine's Day at ApnaGhar
Bhopal:MMNN: Feb. 15, 2017
Metro Mirror, Forward India Forum & Deeshanjali members celebrated Valentine's Day at the ApnaGhar oldage Home. On this occassion the inmates cut the cake and Biscuit packets were distributed.
Mrs. Madhuri Mishra who founded and managing the ApnaGhar introduced the inmates and some of the inmates recited poems and done Acting to propose the elder Woman. The inmates include the Judge and a doctor abandoned by their family.
Mrs. Mishra told to MetroMirror, "we enjoy the company of elderly people and live as a big family. My husband, daughter and Bahu all help me to manage the ApnaGhar".
Dr. Anoop Swarup and Mr. Shiv Harsh Suhalka presented a shawl to Mrs. Mishra as a token of respect to her efforts to keep the inmates hapy and healthy.
On this occasion Deeshanjali founder Mr. Vijay Patidar, Mr. Vikas Saxena and the Volunteers were present.