I visited an Old Age Home yesterday. I knew that the team managing the whole set-up are doing commendable job. But what we witnessed there was startling.
Mr Ravi Kalra is managing the residential set-up for old, physically handicapped and mentally challenged people. Few of them are dropped there by police, few picked from roads and others dropped by the families. Families? Yes, at times families found it difficult to cope with the challenges of managing old people and physical/ mental handicaps.
Would like to share some number that Mr Kalra shared. There are total 430 people in the residence. 7-8 people die in the residence every week. Some of the deaths are even questioned by police! Mr Kalra needs to cope with those cases. There are nearly 200 police cases against him! Managing setup while coping with these cases become overwhelming. Lastly, Mr Kalra said that he has cremated around 5000 dead bodies.
Few of the residents are able to help fellow residents; others are able to integrate in the mainstream. One of guys we met was suffering Autism, but extremely talented with numbers and Cricket records. A lady is persistently waiting his son and daughter to pull her out. A young person was dropped in the setup by his mother. An old age person had severe burn injury — his wife left him at very young age for another man. There are many more astonishing stories.
This was an eye opener. I’m looking forward to celebrate Holi with them this year. Anyone can contribute to their happiness, not necessarily with money alone but with their active presence and talking to the residents.
All in all, people were happy. Hygiene was good. There is ample space to roam around and rest. Still, the set-up needs more fund to raise the living standard of the residents.