They were experiences to cherish each in its own way unique. I had hoped that the cyclothon would include stay and visits to senior citizen homes and these stays and visits exceeded expectations.
Our first stay was at the Ramana Maharishi Ashreya, a premium senior citizen home at Hosur. There is a wonderful atmosphere at the home The Maharishi’s philosophy seemed to pervade the place. The cottages are also comfortable and the surroundings green and peaceful. The only minor drawback would be its distance from Bangalore and the Hosur town. However the new highway from Bangalore to Hosur will pass close to the home and this should be a boon to connectivity.
The Matoshree Vridhashram in Kohlapur was a different experience. The home is run by a group of ladies in their late seventies and eighties. We walked into a meeting arranged by the trustees and were struck by the calm demeanour of most of the residents. We were told that this was the direct result of the prayers and chanting of mantras that the residents carry out in the morning and evening.
Food was clean and wholesome and there was an easy informality among the residents as they sat around.The stay arrangements however were not so comfortable.
The Anand Vridhashram in Palgarh, Maharasthra was by far the most vibrant home we visited. We were treated to a scintillating variety entertainment in the evening.Here are a few clips of that evening.
The 75 year old dancing in this clip came to the home a year and a half ago with deep depression. He didn’t talk to any one for three months. Look at him now. This is surely a big tribute to the atmosphere in the home.
Here is another clip. The elders in this dance practised for three days and took the help of a choreographer !!!
Food was of high quality and this home came the closest to a desired level of social activity for the residents.
There were other homes we stayed at. Manav Mandir at Navsari, Gujarat, Snehanjali Senior Citizen Home in Nallasapora, Maharashtra and Tara Sansthan, Udaipur and the Senior Citizen Home run by Indian Red Cross, Ahmedabad. Tara Sansthan was by far the best equipped in terms of the standard of the rooms and the facility. It compares well with a three star hotel and is an airy and bright place. The home run by the Indian Red Cross was also very well run with good rooms, environment and food. Activity levels in both these premium homes seemed very low. At any rate we din’t get to see any activity.
Snehanjali is one home that also provides day care facilities and is nestled in a green environment. Since we were there over the week end we did not see much activity. Manav Mandir also seemed low on activity and subdued residents.
There was much that passed through my mind as we stayed at these homes and during the visits to several others. I will however reserve my observations for a different post.