Spending an afternoon with senior citizens is like time travelling. It’s a riot of information and entertainment.
92-year old Champi Amma is a walking-talking encyclopaedia on Delhi. She is a little hard of hearing but name any place in Delhi and her face lights up. She will tell you what that place is famous for. Her common question to everyone is about marriage and if married then kids.
Rakesh Uncle can talk on any subject, such diverse is his knowledge. Within five minutes of conversation, he makes you so comfortable as if you know him for ages.
Veena Amma loves to sing and dance
And when you have 12 such people from different backgrounds sharing their experiences, its an afternoon of non-stop chatter and laughter over good food.
And this laughter is what these elderly people use to forget their pain and hurt of being abandoned by their families in the last lap of their lives. Fortunately, they have found a new family and a new place to call home at Mann ka Tilak.
Mann ka Tilak is part of shelter homes created by a Delhi-based NGO Wishes and Blessings and is meant to give a home to abandoned elderly women and men of Delhi/NCR.
The shelter home provides all facilities and care to the housemates completely free of cost. They ensure that these elderly men and women live a life of dignity and respect, a life they truly deserve.
The caretaker at the shelter is a young man who lives at the shelter home with his family of wife and two kids. So, all these senior citizens actually live like one big family and the kids are pampered and spoilt by 12 grandparents. Even the caregivers are treated like sons and daughters.
Wishes and Blessings organises various events and activities that keep these people connected to outside world and at the same time sensitise the youth towards old people.
I came back full of gratitude and lots of good memories that I would cherish for life. I pray to the Almighty that these people are able to sail through all their sorrows and spend their last lap comfortably, peacefully and happily with each other creating a bond of a lifetime.