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Gurgaon: Where destitute women find a happy home

Most inmates at the old age home are disabled

gurgaon Updated: Jul 16, 2017 22:56 IST
Yashaswani Sehrawat
The inspection team at theTau Devi Lal Old Age Home in Sector 4 on Friday.
The inspection team at theTau Devi Lal Old Age Home in Sector 4 on Friday.(PARVEEN KUMAR/ht photo)

Visually impaired and disabled, 97-year-old Gracy is one of the 28 inmates at the Tau Devi Lal old age home in Sector 4.

“This is a home for destitute women in the city. Over 90% of the inmates here were brought by the police,” Sister Sherly from Kerala, the home in-charge, told Hindustan Times.

Justice HS Bhalla, chairperson of Haryana Human Rights Commission, along with fellow members of the commission, Gurgaon DC Vinay Pratap Singh and members of Red Cross Society visited the old age home on Friday afternoon.

“It was a regular visit to check the facilities at the home and understand how it works,” Singh said.

Gracy, who hails from Madurai and has been lodged at the home for the last five years, is the oldest inmate.

“I worked for the Britishers at the homes and took care of their children. Though I didn’t do it for money while my father was alive, I took it up as a job after his death,” Gracy told Hindustan Times.

She said she later moved to Delhi to stay with her sister’s daughter as “there was no one”. However, life was not the same again after she slipped on the carpet and was rendered invalid.

“Since there was no one to take care of me, I came here of my own volition,” Gracy said.

Wahida (35), another inmate hailing from Hayatpur village in Haryana, said she divorced her husband in 2004 as he used to beat her up.

“I have no children and went to stay with my father after splitting from my husband. But he was too old and to take care of me. I have nine sisters and all are married. None of them agreed to take me in,” said Wahida, who has been staying at the home for one-and-a-half years.

Sister Jaise Maria, one of the five sisters who run the home, said most of the inmates are physically or mentally challenged.

The home provides recreational facilities to inmates and admits anyone who comes here, Sister Maria said.

“This is service to god. Who can say no to that? However, we are full now and cannot admit any more destitutes,” Sister Maria said.

Justice Bhalla said that while the home was “very well maintained”, he will make some suggestions to the government to ensure that the home is run well and the inmates are properly cared for.

“The sisters here said that doctors visit once a week and there are no ambulances on standby. I’d write to the government to ensure that doctors visit the home every two days and that there should be an ambulance on standby in the event of a medical emergency,” Justice Bhalla told Hindustan Times.

Read I Gurgaon: String of public offices to be made disabled-friendly

Though originally a state government property, the building was given to Red Cross Society, who, in turn, gave it to St Joseph’s Service Society, a charitable organisation in 2003. Since then, ‘sisters of the destitute’ have been managing the home.