If we interact with the inmates of the house, their story would be similar. But none of them felt any discomfort among themselves. The main reason is the children’s disgust against the old and, finally the removal of the elders from the family scene. The atmosphere was calm, pleasing and gave immense pleasure of being among their flesh and blood that, most of the old people miss at the old age home. The love and affection they missed weren’t much seen, but the love that they showed us was beyond words.
They do get their daily needs fulfilled but, from where will the love of the dear ones come? The stories of almost all the old people are the same and very dismal. They have a prayer hall to pray for their loved ones to be safe and happy with a pure heart. But the fact that there is still love and a new family with many little aged children.
It is the breakup of the system of the joint family and the trends of introduction to the nuclear family that has brought this unhappy situation to enter our society.
Besides this, since the women have started working out of homes, there is no one to look after the routine needs of the elders at home. The sons/daughters have also started feeling that their parents are useless appendages in the family.
This attitude of women has also contributed to the removal of elders from families. The real need is when the grandchildren miss great histories, wisdom, and love from their grandparents, the lack of guidance of an experienced is being increasingly felt over time. The entire spectrum of situations has directed to this fateful need for old age homes. But in Anandham, the only happiness and calmness prevail. Irrespective of religion and region, they share the place and take care of their needs all by themselves.
No matter how well they are looked after in these homes, a single visit to an old age home brings a thought to take care of our parents and a caution to teach the future generation to take care of elders.
Redoact Foundation took and initiative to celebrate Rakdhanbandhan, a festival among women and men who are not blood relatives but are bonded by a common love of brotherhood. there is also a transformed tradition of voluntary kin relations, achieved through the tying of rakhi amulets, which have cut across caste and class lines. In some places the organizer too took the chance of teeing the rachis to elders such as a matriarch, or a person in authority, all were being included in the ceremony in ritual acknowledgment of their benefaction.
First, one of them, an old grandmother took us around the place to show us how they managed to rejoice life with all offered gifts to them.
Many people who donated what they had, their names were displayed under their contribution. The top third floor had an entire room kept by the members to teach the little kids who are orphans or those who are below the poverty line. Few elders also actively take part in teaching the little children and the money made is utilized back to meet the needs of old people.
The whole room with fixed walls had paintings and artworks of the children, lovely and colorful. The building was partially powered by solar also contributed by members. They also showed us the world record they did for the Rangoli competition which was a marvelous work by them.
Every wrinkled prince and princess waited for our team to begin what we are going to do. They were eager to know what we are about to do, with excitement. Our team bought a lamp, flowers, and sweets for they celebrated Raksha Bandhan. Every grandmother took Arthi or the lamp bier with the little lamp, this is to indicate that the women respect her brother as an equal deity to God, it shows love and respect indicating that a brother is to be worshipped nest to a mother and father.
Then the trembling hands of women tied the bond of the sacred thread, the Rakee. This is to designate the promise that she will be the second mother for him, to care, share and love with all her hearts, to encourage him and support him in any sort of situation and to be together with him like the tight knot tied to his hands. Finally, she takes the sweet and gives him to bless him with all the sweetest of memories and happiness throughout his life, and the best part is when he feeds her in return stating that, “whatever happens I will keep your life happy too”.
The sweets we bought for them were sugarless, so they enjoyed eating them with at most happiness. Many volunteered to celebrate the ceremony of Raksha Bandhan and show their love to their sisters/brothers even at this age. There lied a person aged 104 tried his best to sit a tie the rope with a smile of a one-year-old kid.
It was divine to watch them do with enthusiasm and excitement to this ceremony. Every grandmother and grandfather actively took part and did theirs with so much eagerness. It was delightful to listen to them sing hymns and slogans to god with a desire to keep their children happy. They pray for them to live a happy life because they gave these little experienced kids a new home and a new family.
Thanks to Anandam’s old age home for this opportunity and the day was complete with lots of love and happiness along with memories and blessings they gave us.