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 Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara 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.
Nightingales Sandhya Kirana at Shanthigar currently has more than 50 elderly attending the centre on a daily basis.
The Centre also runs a Geriatric clinic to provide basic medical care to the poor and downtrodden.
All services provided here are free of cost.
The Nightingales Sandhya Kirana at Shanthinagar is established in association with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (Bangalore City Corporation)
The elders are provided with nutritional breakfast, milk, lunch and evening snacks. Yoga, fitness programs and weekly medical check-ups are conducted. Music, TV, outings and fun events are organized through volunteers for the elderly.
A monthly free geriatric clinic is organized at the Centre to screen and address any medical conditions. Medicines are provided free of cost and interventions for conditions like Cataract are organized through partnerships.
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.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns that ensued, elders have not been able to come to the Centre to receive their nutrition, medicines and to participate in income generation activities. Our staff now go to their homes to distribute rations, nutritional supplements, medicines and help them with income generation.
Being a heart patient, I was completely dependent on others. After coming to Sandhya Kirana eight years ago, and interacting with the people here, I am feeling better. Now, I am active with income-generating activities. I am happy here.
A member of Sandhya Kirana
I remember how people used to scold us and ask us to leave when we talked about day care centers for elders. It was an odd concept for people to understand back then in 2004. Now, there are so many people like me using the facility to live happily. We used to get wax from the church and learnt to make candles so that we could earn some money by selling them. Slowly, more activities were introduced. I feel blessed to have a place like Sandhya Kirana at this age.
A member of Sandhya Kirana
There are many opportunities where you as an individual or a corporate team can touch the lives of the elders at this Centre.
Make a Difference in the lives of the Elders at Nightingales Sandhya Kirana. As a not-for-profit organization, NMT depends on socially conscious persons like you to support the work done at Nightingales Sandhya Kirana
Your contributions can help feed the elderly and organize medical camps for the elders here. You can also donate newspapers and other needs.