Nightingales Sandhya Kirana
The growth of the aged population which is either dependent on the young or unemployed or working for food during the evening years of their life is a challenge to the social security systems in India. Unlike in other countries, elders in India are left to fend for themselves. For daily wage earners or low income groups, meeting daily requirements itself is a challenge, let alone saving for their sunset years.
Lack or absence of financial independence creates a stressful life and invites problems including physical and mental health issues. For instance, domestic problems in an extended family system can worsen the problems of a financially-destitute senior citizen. Furthermore, if the children are struggling in a similar state of poverty, the senior citizen gets tagged as being an added burden on the family.
Loneliness is the other constant worry that accompanies elders with financial problems. Elders long for companionship with other like-minded elders who can understand their situation and with whom they can confide in. The need for belongingness is significantly seen in these elders.
WHAT WE DO:
Sandhya Kirana is a noble initiative by Nightingales Medical Trust in collaboration with the Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (City Corporation) to rehabilitate elders who are economically challenged.
A day care centre for the elderly from the lower socio economic strata, the primary focus is to help elders earn an income and live a life of dignity with access to adequate health care. The highlight of the centre is the strong emotional attachment that the elders develop amongst them.
All men and women above the age of 60 are eligible for registration. Nightingales Sandhya Kirana currently has more than 60 members at the centre and on an average, 50 elderly attend the day care centre on a daily basis. All services provided here are free of cost.
Services at Sandhya Kirana
- Meals – Most of the elders who join Sandhya Kirana come in with health problems indicative of malnutrition or related deficiencies. The elders are provided with nutritional breakfast, milk, lunch and evening snacks to overcome these health issues.
- Health and Hygiene – Yoga, fitness programs and weekly medical check-ups are conducted. Periodically health camps like cataract camp, cancer detection camp, cardiac camps are conducted and health talks are organized.
- Skill Development and Income Generation Elders attending the centre are taught to make handmade products that can be sold and can help them to earn a livelihood. Newspaper covers, candles, eco-friendly plates, gift bags, mats and decorative items are some of the products made by the elderly here.
- Recreation – Music, TV, outings and fun events are organized through volunteers for the elderly.