Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Granny Bashing

“Granny Bashing”

Day before yesterday (15.6.09) was the World Elders Abuse Prevention Day and as usual in Bangalore it went unnoticed. Except for a function organised by Nightingales Medical Trust.

Elder Abuse, decades ago was first reported in British scientific journals as “Granny Bashing” about the Elderly facing overt/or covert abuse, economic deprivation, social neglect and religious abuse (especially widows). Elder abuse may manifest as physical, psychological, financial or as neglect.

The family has generally been the traditional primary source of the social, economic, psychological and physical support for the aged. However, the elderly get affected due to lack of support from children who would have grown into adulthood and are in the web of fulfilling their own priorities. Joint family system has almost vanished from the urban areas with nuclear family replacing it. And due to lack of any worthwhile scheme of social insurance or social assistance these elderly become one of the marginalised and vulnerable sections of the society.
Anti-social elements also take advantage of the weakness of elders as seen by the number of murders of elderly that have taken place in a city like Bangalore in the recent past.

Property issues, psychological and financial pressures on care givers or children, dependency factor, ill-health and physical disability of the elderly, economic insufficiency of the elderly and many other factors lead to elder abuse.

Older women, especially in India face a ‘triple jeopardy’ - that of being female in patriarchal culture, of being old in a fast changing society and of being poor.Older women’s health is affected by a lifetime of poor nutrition, multiple pregnancies, poor reproductive health care apart from other causes.

Percentage of widows is also disproportionately larger in India than that of widowers. Literacy rate among widow population is also extremely low (8%) with majority of widows being totally, economically dependent (80%).

Our country presents a sad picture when it comes to the care of the elderly. There is no baseline data about aged in the country, there is no comprehensive social security provision for the people, there is no universal medicare system for all, a sizeable number of aged live under poverty line, institutional facilities are totally inadequate for the number of people who require such care, there is no conscious planning to meet the needs of the elderly, public awareness of issues involved in elderly care is dismal and finally, there is no comprehensive National Policy for the elderly.

Omashram Trust was founded nearly nine years ago for the care of the elderly in Bangalore. The Old Age Home is housed in three separate rented premises in Bangalore and currently has 35 residential aged people most of them women. The institution has strictly survived because of the support of kind-hearted individual donors from India and abroad and contributions from some corporates. Government funding is nil ! The main reason being that all of this funding is mired in corruption.

Mohan Pai
Omashram Trust, Bangalore.

For my book “The Elderly”, please log on to:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happenings at Omashram 11.

I founded this institution in 2001 and it has been a great struggle all these years to keep it afloat. By God's grace we are now looking after 33 sick, old and helpless souls. This has been possible only through the help of innumerable kind-hearted individual donors from India and abroad, NGO Fundraiser who are in the forefront of fund-raising activities for Omashram, and a few corporates. And I must not forget to mention the self-less devotion and hardwork of Mrs. Geeta Shankar, the Managing Trustee of the organisation which has contributed to the survival of the organisation in great measure. Volunteer groups from iVolunteer have been of great help.

Blessings from the elders at Omashram.
Mohan Pai,
Founder, Omashram Trust

Omashram Welcomes
the New Residents at its 3rd Unit

Geet Shankar, Managing Trustee, welcoming the new residents.

The 3rd New Unit of Omashram Old Age Home at Vijaya Bank Colony, Bilekahally, Bangalore South is now fully ready.

Ms. Nethra, the new cook, busy in the kitchen.

Elders who wish to be admitted need to act fast before the accommodation gets full up.

New residents settled down in their bedroom.

Pantry with fridge & washing machine & Kencha, the guard dog at the Ashram.

For admission, please contact:
Mrs. Geeta Shankar, Managing Trustee, Omashram Trust.
Phone: 91-9845567663

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Happenings at Omashram 10

Sunfeast World 10K Run for Charity
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore.

Run, maadi, run !

This morning Bangalore awoke to the sound of pounding feet of over 23,000 runners. Geeta Shankar of Omashram Old Age Home arrived early at Kanteerava Stadium much before the beginning of the events. In the excitement she even skipped her breakfast. And she carried her camera and went to town with it. The event was a roaring success. Here are Geeta’s colourful photographs.
Over 23,000 persons participated in the run. “Majja” run had the maximum participants - over 13,000 runners.

A team of volunteers from iVolunteer carried Omashram Banner and ran for the elders at Omashram headed by Prarthana Unkalkar.
The Marathon runners.

And the Senior Citizens ran well - more than 2000 Senior Citizens participated in the walk, a number double that of the previous year.
Physically challenged wheeled their way despite all the odds.

iVolunteer Group with Omashram Banner

iVolunteer Group participating in the ‘Maja Run’ for several organisations including Omashram
2 . Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa participating in the inaugural run of th Marathon
The Waiting Crowed Nigerian runners The Stadium
Participant in the Wheelchair event.