First of all, I am thankful to Mrs. Gagandeep Kaur and Mr. Atul Verma for letting me do my internship with their respective institute. I am also grateful to all the members of the organization for their provision of expertise, without their superior knowledge and experience, my internship experience would have lacked the quality outcome, and thus their support has been essential.
So, as part of our internship program a few of us from the Unique Psychological Services office recently got a chance to visit the old age home at The Earth Saviours Foundation, Gurugram established in 2008 by Ravi Kalra. I was eagerly looking forward, as this was my first field visit. We got a deep insight into some of the bitter and disillusioned realities of life, which turned out to be an eye-opener for us as we reflected on our way back to be always with our parents through thick and thin.
I personally had some deep thought-provoking moments seeing them who have either been neglected or have just become unwanted by their children who now consider them more like a burden in the household. To our shock, we found that some of the elderly people there did not come willingly but were either just left at the door or even worse, had been picked up from the roadside where they were abandoned by their families!
As I entered one of the shelters, I saw an old man who was sitting all alone. One of the volunteers introduced me to his background telling me about how his family, for whom he did everything to establish a successful and luxurious life in his younger days, were now fighting to get the possession of his entire property while considering him to be the biggest hurdle of their lives and leaving him abandoned there. The old man couldn’t even speak and showed us his name tattooed on his arm. My colleagues and I were there with him for only about five minutes or so, and in spite of no verbal communication between us, he was there folding hands in respect to greet us.
A little later, I met a 73 years old gentleman who had retired from the Army and had been living in the shelter for not a very long period, as he had chosen it as his home to help and support others around him to lead a peaceful life. He told us his story about how he was still in contact with his family but had made his own little world with the other physically and mentally challenged people at the shelter, trying to improve their standard of living as much as his health would allow him to.
The place was home to several mentally challenged people as well; few of them have sadly lost their balance to circumstances they were living under before coming there – forcefully or otherwise.
Today, amidst our busy lives and while cursing bad moments, we forget to appreciate all the good things which we already have.
As Abraham Lincoln once said:
IN THE END, IT’S NOT THE YEARS IN YOUR LIFE THAT COUNT. IT’S THE LIFE IN YOUR YEARS THAT MATTERS.
By the end of the day, I did learn some lessons by seeing the harsh reality and difficulties faced by many people. And I truly feel grateful and blessed for what I have. I believe that we must live our one and only life to the fullest making sure it’s a better place, not just for us but for everyone around us.