The elderly population is large are faced with numerous physical, psychological and social role changes that challenge their sense of self and capacity to live happily. Many people experience loneliness and depression in old age, either as a result of living alone or due to lack of close family ties and reduced connections with their culture of origin, which results in an inability to actively participate in the community activities. With advancing age, it is inevitable that people lose connection with their friendship networks and that they find it more difficult to initiate new friendships and to belong to new networks.
To bring a change in the lives of these old people and bring them moments of happiness students of the Indian Institute of Management Raipur, under the aegis of Kartavya, the CSR Club, visited Sanjeevani Vriddhashram (old age home). This was in continuation to a series of events conducted in October including a career awareness drive in Sejbahar HSS and food donation drive called ‘Donate a Dabeli’ project in the first week of October.
The old age home visit took place on Saturday, 22nd October at Sanjeevani, the old age home run by the Chhattisgarh Yadav Samaj, Raipur. 20 students from IIM Raipur reached Sanjeevani at 4 pm on Saturday to talk to and spend time with the 30 inmates at Sanjeevani. The visit coincided with the birthdays of three inmates who were celebrating their birthdays on the same day. The oldest, Gauri amma, was aged 80 and celebrating her birthday for the first time. Student volunteers turned up with cake and the visit started off with birthday songs and songs sung by the birthday ladies.
Fun and love was all around as inmates and volunteers then proceeded to play a game of ‘Passing the Parcel’. Evergreen songs such as ‘Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana’ and ‘Gaata Rahe Mera Dil’ were played to great memories. Inmates and students took turns to sing, dance, recite poetry and even film dialogues from Mughal-E-Azam. As the visit proceeded, dear memories were awakened as students and inmates bonded over stories and wisdom passed on through the ages. Everyone present came back better than before, having a better perspective on life and on the miracles of a few hours of listening and being there could do.
Volunteers and inmates finally said their goodbyes after sunset around 6:30 pm with fond memories and promises to return. The visit was a grand success with both inmates and volunteers having refreshed themselves with stories, blessings and bonding.
The visit is part of IIM Raipur’s efforts to enhance its social impact.IIM Raipur plans to conduct a series of social impact and awareness events leading up to its grand Prayaas - Raipur Marathon 2017 with the theme of ‘Run for Swacchh Bharat’ (Clean India Mission). The event which is to be held on 12th February is expected to be the largest ever in Raipur with a footfall of 2000 participants from various parts of Chattisgarh and from across India.
In all, the visit left all the members volunteered with a message of-Elderly should be allowed to enjoy their twilight years in comfort, surrounded by their own people, enjoying their independence. Those with elderly parents have a duty towards them and not upholding this duty should be regarded as a failure.