Despite scores of old age homes, various government schemes, several NGOs working for them, not to mention Delhi police’s senior citizen cell, there is no end to woes of hundreds of elderly people living across the Capital.
The reasons are many: it could be their children living separately or living abroad, family deserting old couples and neglecting them even when they live with the rest of the family, etc.
So though the reasons are many, few senior citizens have found a way to keep themselves busy in their own activities.
A motley group of seniors gathers at the Senior Citizen’s Shed every morning at the Deer Park in Hauz Khas. Members of the Senior Citizen’s Council of Delhi spend time enquiring about each other, reading newspapers and playing games that suit their age.
“Many come just to say ‘hi’ to others and proceed to take a walk in the park,” said Council president J.R. Gupta.
The organisation’s volunteers visit those old people who cannot move out of their homes and take them to hospitals, paying their bills, etc.
“(Though) taking care of their physical needs is important, it is equally important to provide emotional support. We have a tie up with a local school wherein children from Class VIII to X visit 80-plus elders once a week,” added Gupta.
But children are not the only one to visit such elderly living alone. Patel Nagar resident H.S. Sawhney, himself a 77-year-old, has adopted 10 senior citizens in his area.
“Old people need someone to talk to. I visit them and call them as and when possible,” Sawhney said.