Many elderly when grow old are confronted with an utterly devastating reality- rejection, humiliation, dispossession and ejection at the hands of their own kith and kin whom once they so dearly loved and cared for and from society too. Often ill-health, penury and loneliness add further to their miseries. Janaseva Foundation has come forward to do its mite to alleviate the suffering of these unfortunate souls.
Old Age Homes
The Foundation opened its first old-age home housing only 20 people in the Sonapur General Hospital itself, 20 years ago. However, in due course the rapidly growing demand for elderly care led to the construction of three old age homes, late Shri. Haribhai V. Desai Old Age Home, Shri. Rasiklal Manikchand Dhariwal Old Age Home and Smt. Ichrajbai Khivansara Old Age Home.
These old age homes cater to 150 elderly and have comfortable residential facility. Janaseva Foundation is perhaps the only organization in the country which runs old age homes and a hospital within the same premises along with a paralytic centre, well equipped physiotherapy centre and admits disabled, handicapped and mentally ill patients as well. 2/3 of the patients are admitted free while the remaining pay as per their capacity.
The old age homes have been visited by some of the most distinguished dignitaries in India. Her Excellency, Hon’ble Smt. Pratibhatai Patil, President of India; His Excellency, late Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, Former President of India have blessed the foundation. His Excellency, Shri Krishna Kant, Former Vice President of India, His Excellency Dr. P. C. Alexander, former Governor of Maharashtra, Shri. Sharad Pawar, Union Minister of Agriculture, Hon’ble Vilasrao Deshmukh, former chief minister of Maharashtra, Hon’ble Ajitdada Pawar, Dy. Chief Minister, Maharashra, Dr. Sharadchandra Gokhale, former President of International Federation on ageing (IFA) and Dr. Yitzhak Brick, former President, IFA and Irene Hoskins, President, IFA have also visited our oldage homes.
Day Care Center
With a view to helping the senior citizens to impart their skills and knowledge to the society at large and youth in particular and thus utilize their free time more productively and meaningfully, the Janaseva Foundation established a Day Care Centre at Aundh, Pune, in 2002. A joint venture of Janaseva Foundation, Pune Municipal Corporation and the Lion’s Club of Pune Ganeshkhind, the Centre is a part of Pune Municipal Corporation’s Baburao Genba Shewale Hospital at Aundh. It was inaugurated on 13th February 2002 by Shri Mohan Dharia and then commissioner of PMC Shri Ratnakar Gaikwad is indeed a living example of how public authorities and voluntary organizations can join hands to promote the wellbeing of the citizenry through fuller utilization of their resources. The Centre provides medical aid free of charge and offers space to the elderly to spend their time together in recreational or educational activities. These include organizing lectures, stitching clothes for the poor, taking tuitions for the poor students and holding tailoring classes for needy women. Free health check up camps for the slum dwellers in the surrounding areas are arranged. Computer classes are held for the members and in fact one of the members has written a book on computers which was released at the hands of renowned computer expert Padmashir Dr. Vijay Bhatakar. Bharatiya Yoga Sansthan conducts yoga classes for the members. It is really gratifying to note that nearly 300 senior citizens are availing of its services.
Rural Aging Program
The Janaseva Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with YASHADA (Yashawantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration, Govt. of Maharashtra) for organizing activities benefitting the rural senior citizens. It conducted a preliminary seminar for Sarpanchs, Gramsevaks and other rural officials, followed by one day get-together of 1600 rural senior citizens from more than 100 villages. A pilot study of 650 senior citizens was conducted.
Under rural aging research programme conducted with the help to Shrip Narendra Lakhani, US, Maharashtra Foundation, US, Share & Care Foundation a comprehensive survey was carried out in 30 villages of more than 1300 senior citizens. It was followed by free health check up which included blood tests, X-rays, ECG, lipid profile, BMD, dental and eye check up. Medical officers working in these villages were provided with free glucometer and strips to regularly check sugar level of the diabetic. All the participants were given medical advise regarding their status of health and were issued health cards.
Construction of Toilets
Foundation has observed the absence of toilets in most of these villages. This affects the elderly, disabled and women and walking long distance to defecate carrying water over uneven ground is problematic for them. In the rainy season and at night it is even more difficult. This also is a cause of diseases. Under this program foundation has constructed 130 toilets with help of villagers. Around 200 more are under construction in Rule village with the donation from Shri Anil Deshpande, US.
Foundation has constructed a Rural Hub which serves as a meeting place for elderly and for arranging informative lecture on various issues concerning elderly.
On 1st January 2010, the foundation ushered in a new idea Century Club to facilitate public interaction with the senior citizens above 85 years. The members meet on the 1st of every month and share a common platform for exchanging their experiences. The club presently has a membership of 20 persons above 90 years, 3 above 100 years and 60 between 85 to 90 years. Every month a meeting of it’s members is arranged in which educative, health lectures and entertainment programmes are arranged. Senior Citizens from all over the Pune are becoming members. A picnic of the members is arranged every year.
Networking of NGOs
To initiate cooperation and exchange of information and to build united platform for various issues of elderly Janaseva Foundation, Lions Clubs of Pune, Ahmednagar, Nashik district and various NGOs working for elderly in these districts had a first meeting on February 1st, 2010. ILC-I, IFA, Harmony, HelpAge, ASCOP, FESCOM etc. are some of the participants. Now the activities will be expanded. Rotary International also will participate and recent most information on policy of aging, welfare activities on aging by all the NGOs will be informed to all in order to increase the beneficiaries.
World Senior Citizens Day Celebrations (1st October)
Each year the foundation celebrates the World Senior Citizens Day by organizing a large senior citizen get-together and felicitates on the occasion select 15 distinguished senior citizens above 80 years. The programme features a range of informative lectures and cultural programmes. It is a matter of pride for the foundation that a good number of well-known public organizations join hands with it in organizing the rally. In the past, these have included University of Pune, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune Municipal Corporation, Lion’s Dist. 323D2, YASHADA, ILC-I, and various senior citizen organizations. Similar programs are organised in rural areas.
Meet the Stalwart
Under the ‘Meet the Stalwart’ programme, the foundation invites accomplished veterans from various walks of life for an open interview and interaction which is hoped to serve as a source of inspiration and energy for the ageing. Conducted once in 3 months, the activity has received support from Lions International District 323D2, International Longevity Centre-India and various other organizations. The programme has featured in the past such distinguished dignitaries as Padmavibhusan Mohan Dharia, Padmavibhushan Dr.Raghunath Mashelkar, Padmashri Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, Dr. Sharadchandra Gokhale, Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Dr. Gururaj Mutalik and Lt. Gen. Moti Dhar.
Senior Citizens Forum
More than 1000 senior citizens in Pune are members of this forum. The forum has been organizing a wide range of educative and entertainment programs for its members.