The impact of social outreach programs like Old Age Home Visit as part of the curriculum has helped the students in inculcating the mental sensibilities required while dealing with the elderly. At the same time, it helps them to understand the psychological and physical problems associated with the elderly population. Instilling such ethics in students at a young age helps them in becoming responsible and caring citizens of the country.
As Mother Teresa has rightly said “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved”, it becomes important for us as a responsible society to project to the elderly that we still care. The United Nations has agreed that 65+ years may be normally denoted as old age. With an aim to serve the old and the destitute under the community service program, the faculty members Dr. Anil Raj Chettri, Ms. Ankita Mishra and Ms. Swati Singh along with 46 no. of students of BBA Hospital Management from 1st and 2nd year visited the Hamro Bridha Ashram, Rohini Kothidara, Pailadhura, P.O Kurseong, Darjeeling.
The PR team of the health Club of Inspiria Knowledge Campus visited the Old age home 3-4 days before the actual visit. We collected old clothes (sweater, shawls, bedsheets, pillow cover, jackets, coats, shirts, etc) from our students and Inspiria team members. Blankets were donated by Mr. Rahul Gupta, Head Operations, Inspiria Knowledge Campus. We also got some monetary help as a donation from the Inspiria team.
The trip was conducted on Saturday the 16th of November, 2019. The journey started at 10 am from the campus on a bus. The Old age home is located in a remote area and the bus could not take us to the actual location. So after getting down at a particular location in the Rohini road, we all had to trek nearly 5 km to reach the spot.
After walking for 2 long hours we reached the old age home. Promptly after reaching there, we were greeted by the owner/caretaker of the home who gave us a brief knowledge to us regarding the no. of people who live in the home, about their daily routine, etc. The age for the elderly ranged from 60- 82 years and they were living in the home for more than 3 months – 5 years. There were 10 females and 6 male members in the home. She also informed us that the old citizens have been brought to the home by the family or by the villagers from near and far.
Our students donated all the goods to each senior citizen in the old age home. They interacted with them and old citizens shared their personal experiences with us.We had even purchased some kitchen essentials and grocery items like rice, flour, dal, biscuits, Horlicks, toothpaste, soaps, etc., which we offered to the manager who kept it in the store for future use. They thanked us and after our final goodbye to all the people of the home, we started off our return journey at 4.00 pm by trekking downhill and boarded the bus. Our journey ended at 6 pm on the campus of Inspiria.
Overall, Old Age Home Visit was a heartfelt and unique experience. The visit not just bestowed us with the good feelings but even rendered a great learning experience for the students of Inspiria as they got to meet and interact with the old, neglected citizens of our society who need our love, care, and attention from time to time.
This trip was a memorable one and students got to understand the need for developing connections through actual interactions that not just help them understand the human values but also helps them sustain the spirit of responsibility and compassion towards the needy. We spent as much time we could spend with them. The visit was much more like a common experience because, in the end, it truly stood as a life-changing experience for each one of us.