- Forum for the Aged
- Financial Independence
- Extending Support and Care
- Counseling the Family Memb
Problems of the Aged:
The aged people in the district Warangal are living in pathetic conditions and unable to feed themselves. The nuclear families in the villages made them out of place and although their children live in the same village have no time to look after these old people. But the old in the villages like to live in that village and die in their homeland. This turned them in to beggars and labourers with meager wages. In the villages, where migration is high due to continuous draught, the old are left alone to their destiny. The health facilities are a far cry for elders in villages. Whenever there is a Health camp in any village, only old people attend expecting some Medicines.
The Aged are discriminated in this issue too and we find no Forums for these people in the villages. This gives them little choice to share their feelings and problems.
The Aged must have spent all their energies, money and savings in shouldering the responsibilities of their families. Only few old people will be wise to save some money for their old age. But in most cases, they are over confident that their children will show the same amount of responsibility that was shown towards them. We often find that the children show no gratitude towards their parents and harass them for money and assets. In the case of Aged women, they become servants in their own houses and have to face all kinds of harassment from their daughter-in-laws. In some of the cases they abandon the old on the roads or in the ashrams and even may kill them for property. As long as such ruthless children are there in the society, the problems of Aged are unending.
Tharuni Sandhya Project:
Tharuni Sandhya was an initiative taken up in five villages in Wardhannapeta Mandal, District Warangal, Andhra Pradesh bringing together 1200 aged. Under this programme, several activities were taken up there to lend a helping hand to the lonely aged people there. Most of them were literally disowned by their own kith and kin. It resulted in the old people feeling that they are not alone and together they can strive to achieve a lot more in their lives. Tharuni’s role was to facilitate formation of FFAs and with the help of a few donors arrange for medical aid, financial aid and clothes for the old people
Tharuni had launched a Program called THARUNI SANDHYA in 2002 by starting forums for the aged (FFA) in 6 villages of Wardhannapet Mandal of Warangal district in which 1200 members were enrolled and got the benefits of finance for small economic activities like poultry, diary, kirana shop etc and also were engaged in village development activates. Tharuni has celebrated International elder’s day on 1st October 2002 for the members of FFA. All the 1200 aged people participated in various activities like cultural competitions legal and health counseling and enjoy entire day.
Free health check-ups were arranged for the members of FFA. Free cataract detection, dental & diabetic camps were held for the aged and medicines were distributed. Also 72 cataract operations were conducted. Tharuni held a Vruddhula Sadassu for 1000 FFA members in the month of January 2003 and distributed about 700 sarees, 450 Blankets with help of local M.L.A. and other donors. Tharuni has given 5 public Radio Systems to 5 FFAs for the entertainment of elders.
This Concept is an innovative one and was time tested. No other organization had experimented this idea in the past. Tharuni was the only organization who could implement the idea of bringing the Aged together to address their problems with ease.
By establishing Savings groups/ Forms for the old, we can bring lot of change in their status. Hence just like self-help groups established for women in many parts of our country, groups have to be formed for old people too. These small savings will help them die gracefully and live a dignified life. They need not beg for their rights and the forums will give them strength to fight for them. They can get other facilities like Group and Health Insurance. They can together plan small production units and outlets for better livelihood. They can regain their lost respect in their families. The family members will realize the value of elders in the family.
The forums established will help the aged can get some space, love and affection and most importantly can restore their lost identity. These Forums provide an opportunity to get motivated to do little service to the society and in the process redeem their self-respect. Mental Transformation of the aged from negative frame of mind where they would be cursing the society that no one is taking care of them to a positive perspective where they would be exploring the ways and means of contributing some thing to the society and develop a sense of belongingness. The aged can get an opportunity to work and in the process reduce their loneliness and boredom, apart from improving their economic status. The aged can get permanent assets like diary, poultry, etc by saving their money. The savings from their little earnings would hold them in good stead in future when some of them become burden to their families. The Project will help the aged identify their problems and build their capacity to find suitable solutions themselves. The aged will gain confidence to lead a life with respect and dignity in the society.
Hence, the setting up Forums/ Sanghams for Aged is a unique idea.