Report by Sushovit Raut, Member – ISME Social Club:
Indeed a day well spent with lots of good and cherished memories for all the students of ISME 2015-2017 Batch. ISME Social Club organized a visit to an NGO as a part of the CSR of ISME. This time we got an opportunity to spend half a day and dedicate our valuable and quality time with the loved and blessed elderly women at ASHA BHAWAN old age home just few meters off the road from Carmellaram Railway station, Sarjapura Road. When we first decided to go to an old age home, everyone in our batch got really very happy and excited. And they opened up their hearts and donated and contributed generously towards the CSR programme of ISME Social club which was organized on the 30th of January, 2016 i.e Saturday. Despite being a Saturday and a weekend, a day off for all the students and faculty, everyone were so excited to go to old age home and spend some time with the elderly that they got up early and everyone got ready on time, waiting for the college bus to arrive to pick up everyone and take us to ASHA BHAWAN. We reached the venue by 9:30am and we were accompanied by our Social Club Faculty coordinator Mrs. Anju Kumar along with Mrs. Pallavi Jain our admissions head and her two children.
We were all touched by the warm welcome we received by all the 24 elderly women, inmates of ASHA BHAWAN who due to some reason or other were living together as one family at ASHA BHAWAN. Whom the world denied shelter, care and love were now sharing their motherly love and the love of family with each other living together happily catering to the needs of each other like one symbiotic system. It did not take much time for the students to get familiar with the old women. Everyone started interacting with all 24 old women and became friendly with them and were so attached with them that they were like our own grandmothers. We felt for them as we would feel for our own grandmother. Within some minutes the entire atmosphere became very emotional and everyone’s eyes became wet with tears seeing and experiencing their love and care. We all have been staying away from our families some in hostel and some in PG so we got attached with them. We heard their stories of how they ended up in an old age home and got emotional by their real life stories.
Then at 10:45am it was time for our programme to start what we had planned. We made everyone sit in the corridor and in the small garden area we conducted our small cultural programme to entertain them. We started with a group song by three of our students, Neha Sagar, Abhineet Maru and Prajakta Ambiye. The songs and medley they sang were classic old collections from late 60’s so that the old women could understand. We had two anchors Gagan and Sachin. Gagan anchored in Hindi whereas Sachin translated it to Malyalam as majority of inmates understood Malyalam language. Even though we had some linguistic barriers but we all were able to counter that and we were able understand them what they wanted to speak to us.
There were 10 lady staffs all nuns who took care of the old women in that ashram. There were some old women who were bed ridden and some who were unable to walk due to old age. So next we played passing the pillow game with all our grandmothers in ASHA Bhawan. They enjoyed it a lot and our students volunteered and helped them in this game. We had one grandmother who won the game and Pallavi Ma’am presented her a gift, a prize as a token of our love to encourage her active participation. Then it was time for the breakfast, so we distributed the breakfast and Tetrapack juice to all the old women and Pallavi ma’am’s two children helped us in this. After this we had a special Bharat Natyam and modern fusion dance by Prerna, Prajakta and Shailaja. It was a wonderful performance! We had taken our own music system arrangements with us which we set up in the corridor.
We were also happy to celebrate one of our friend Jyoti Yadav’s birthday that day and she felt so privileged to celebrate her birthday with them. Then we had an open dance forum where some of the old women and students had a wonderful time dancing to the tunes of old songs.
Finally it was time for use to say goodbye to them and return back to our own places. Everyone felt so bad and emotional to leave them. We presented a small vote of thanks to Sister Leena and all ASHA BHAWAN’s inmates and staff.
We would never forget the precious time we spent with them. By observing them and experiencing their love and care, we learnt many things that we should learn to be happy with what we have and learn to respect our elders, care and love them even when they need us the most in their old age days. Those beautiful memories we will cherish forever in our hearts. Everyone is so happy to have gone to ASHA BHAWAN and spend half a day there. Thank you ISME for giving us this wonderful opportunity.
Edited by: ISME Literary Club