Humanity at Loss – An Encounter with Reality

Ishika Padhy
Monday, April 17, 2017

Subhadra Mahatab Seva Sadan (SMSS), a non-profiting destitute old age home/care centre located in Gopalpur, Odisha, India was registered as a NGO in 1991 and has been serving the elderly for the past 25 years. This is a shelter for the homeless or distressed senior citizens across the various walks of society. The inmates are accommodated irrespective of their cast, creed or religion. This shelter home was donated by one of the royal family of odisha.

The Manager Ms. Sabitri Debata has devoted almost her entire life in caring for the elderly, whereas the children of the destitutes did not even have the benevolence to care for them. I adore the dedication and sincerity of Ms. Debata.

SMSS provides all the entities needed for the healthy lives of the inmates. The NGO runs with the active support of generous donors and active volunteers.

They have retired Medicine Specialist Dr. Kanoongo, who visits the home for check- ups periodically and arranges medicines through donation from various pharmacies and hospitals in the town as well nearby Berhampur City. In case of any emergencies, inmates are admitted to the MKCG hospital in Berhampur. To maintain good hygienic standard there are cleaners working continuously. There are 6 workers who stay in the old age home itself catering to the instant needs of the aged.

This home with 30 (thirty) inmates of both gender and different religion celebrates all festivals, birthdays with full enthusiasm and spirit in their little way.

MY EXPERIENCE/OBSERVATION:

I was privileged to associate with these great souls for almost 3 weeks and to get to know
their back stories which brought tears in my eyes with every passing day. My interactions
with them opened my eyes towards another dimension of reality. The inmates living there
basically belong to three categories:
1) Those who do not have any family members.
2) Those who only have a daughter, who after her marriage isn’t able to support her parents and
3) Those who are being relentlessly tortured by their children.

The inmates of the house follow a rather timely routine everyday which is as below:



I was very much touched to see the care they had for each other and supporting each other at every stage. I have been talking to them as much as possible and getting to know them better. It was so overwhelming to see that they look after each other, e.g. one reading newspaper for all or for that matter Bhagavad Gita and explaining to all or even one stitching clothes for others.



At free time they play ludo, carom, cards or watch TV. For maintaining a good health during evening hours they go for walk or do gardening work. I was used to go with them sometimes for walk or even help them in preparing manure for the plants.



It has given me immense pleasure to serve them food often and help them in various ways as I feel that’s a service to God.



Many of them are not even able to get up from bed to sit and eat on the tables, so they were served food on the bed.
The ages of the inmates range from 63 years to 100 years with Mrs. Rajulu Rao of 63yrs being the youngest and Mrs. Sundar Mani Devi the eldest. They all maintain a regular daily life and try to be happy with each other’s company. The SMSS is planning to add a second floor to their home on the request of various retired pensioners willing to live there.



I had a wonderful experience working there and truly honoured to have got in this opportunity to serve people in need in my little way. It’s was experienced that love and support are more valuable to them than any other asset. The small smiles on their faces brought me immense joy. Your support for the home for the aged would be deeply appreciated.



“All that glitters is not gold; but is in fact old”




Express your comment on this article

 
Naveen Verma
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
We are Proud for you for your selfless services to the old age home. I promise to donate for them every year starting from this year.

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