In India, 39% of 103.9 million elderly are either abandoned or live alone.
People live with dignity all their life and suddenly one day they are left with no choice but to beg to survive. In villages, many elderly are left alone after their children move to the cities in search of better livelihood. In the last few years of their lives, who will they look up to? Here are a few GiveAssured senior citizen NGOs which are trying to help the elderly and make sure that they are taken care of in their old age.
Ansabai is 82-year-old from Morphali village of Maharashtra and still works as a farm labourer to support herself. Her health problems do not allow her to work regularly and she often used to sleep hungry. Her son has moved to the city for work and no longer takes care of her. With no choice left, she started begging to make her two ends meet.
Donate to help elderly through senior citizen NGO, Manavlok and make their last days a little easier., one of the senior citizen NGOs, made her days easy. It is a voluntary organization which runs a community kitchen for the elderly. Providing two meals a day to over 75 senior citizens in five villages of Ambajogai district, Maharashtra. It makes sure that no elderly person goes to bed hungry. Now, Ansabai need not worry about her meals and can work on the farm as and when her health allows her. She can now spend her little earnings on other necessities since Manavlok provides her meals.
2. HelpAge India
Losing sight with age is common. But for many, it becomes the reason for losing their livelihood and ultimately their ability to live an independent life. Something similar was written in Jani’s fate. Jani is a 67-year-old manual labourer, living in Palghar district of Maharashtra. Her sight started failing and she was lost in despair when she got to know that she had a cataract. She could not afford hospital bills for her surgery and hence she almost accepted that she would go blind and will lose her means of livelihood. Then she found out that her surgery will be done under HelpAgeIndia‘s Restoration of Vision program for destitute elders. Today, Jani’s eyes twinkle as she gives her toothless smile. With her sight restored, she feels independent and happy.
HelpAge, one of the foremost senior citizen NGOs in the country, conducts cataract eye surgeries in 21 states with the medical support of credible and competent eye hospitals and organizations. Since 1980, under this program 45,000 cataract eye surgeries have been conducted annually. This has benefited over nine lakh elderly to date This year, it aims to conduct close to 60,000 cataract surgeries across the country. Donate to help elderly get their vision back. Your donation will gift a vision to one of the 12 million elders in India suffering from cataract affected blindness and who cannot afford treatment.
3. Abhoy Mission
Despite having seven daughters and a son, Bimla was spending her last days begging. Her old age and severe asthma did not allow her to work. When her children showed their back to her, 65-year-old had no choice but to beg for her daily meals. Her days changed for the better when Abhoy Mission’s admitted her to Abhoy’s Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) beneficiary list. She started receiving rations every month and also received medical help when required.
Abhoy Mission, one of the senior citizen NGOs, started the ‘Sponsor a Grandparent’ program in 2003. It aims to provide social security and dignity to the poor, destitute and incomeless senior citizens residing in slums and rural areas in Western Tripura. First of its kind in the state, the program provides a monthly ration kit and daily commodities including clothes. Senior citizens are also given Rs. 50 for medicines and Rs.50 for their personal need. Donate to help elderly citizens of Tripura with basics through senior citizen NGO, Abhoy Mission.
4. Shraddhanand Mahilashram
After her husband passed away, 68-year-old Dandekar Aji was left on the mercy of her children. Her daughter-in-law abused her regularly because of which Aji was spending her old age days in despair. One day her doctor advised her to enroll herself in Shraddhanand Mahilashram old age home. Here, she is provided with food and her medications are also taken care of. Now Aji is 90-year-old and is living a dignified life in this old age home for the last 22 years.
Mahilashram provides shelter to women above 60 years of age. While the old age home offers free stay for abandoned and poor women, it also provides paid services for women who can afford these. Their aim is to provide peace to these women in their last days. Apart from basic facilities including food and a separate bed, the organization also has an active medical staff to take care of them. Donate to help elderly find their second home in Mahilashram and spend their last days in peace.
5. Asha Kiran
Nancharamma is a 75-year-old and lives in Andhra Pradesh. A mother of two, she lives alone and works as a domestic help to take care of herself. She gets a pension of Rs.200 for which she has to spend Rs.40 on travel to get it. With limited money for her basic necessities, she often used to survive on leftover food. She then got enrolled in Asha Kiran’s program and her life changed for the better. They provided Nancharamm with groceries, clothes, a blanket and a mosquito net. She no longer has to sleep hungry and is now living a secure life.
Asha Kiran runs an initiative to help elderly destitute women, below the poverty line, living alone in remote rural villages. It provides basic necessities to close to 200 elderly women. Asha Kiran also conducts monthly meetings apart from free medical camps and cultural programs, to improve their quality of life. Donate to help an elderly woman find hope in her last days.
These senior citizens ask for nothing but to spend their last days in peace. Donate to the above listed senior citizen NGOs to help provide a life of dignity to our senior citizens.
(The article was updated in May, 2022)
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Rhythm is Senior Associate – Social Media and Content Marketing at GiveIndia. She believes in the power of humanity and wants to do her bit in making this world a happy place to be at.