Orphaned children to neglected senior citizens, we have heard many stories of people leading lonely lives. We sympathise, but don’t probably really understand the difficulties they face. But, the importance of having a family or the community to care for us is glaringly apparent when we come across heartbreaking stories such as that of Ramulamma.
No family, house, or money, Ramulamma has been living alone in a roadside shed for the past two months without any food near BC Colony, Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh. On 18 February 2017, a passerby noticed her and called Charan Prasad, member of the NGO, Helping Force Foundation. As soon as they were alerted to Ramulamma’s plight, the members of the NGO rushed to the spot and saw to it that she was fed immediately. They also later took her to a nearby government hospital for treatment.
When asked about his NGO, Charan said, “I’m just 25 and there are 15 people with me. We aim to open an orphanage and then an old-age home in our town soon.”
The plight of old-age people in India
According to a study conducted by Agewell Foundation, 65% of old people are poor with no source of known income. The survey also stated that older women are more prone to suffer abuse due to factors like gender discrimination, a longer lifespan than older men, a longer span of widowhood and no source of income as traditionally most of them are housewives. Additionally, out of every 10 elderly couples in India, more than 6 are forced by their children to leave their homes.
It goes without saying that India needs to improve its treatment of its elderly citizens.
We applaud Charan and his team who rushed to help Ramulamma and saw to it that she was fed and received medical attention. It is important that we as citizens are responsible and conscience-driven. We hope that she will find suitable rehabilitation.