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Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women

by Maitri India
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Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
Old age home for 300 abandoned elderly women
nutritious meals
nutritious meals

"Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly and most underrated agent of human change. In this world, where you can be anything, be kind."

 

Dear Maitri Friend,

 We hope all is well and you are keeping safe during these unprecedented times.  The Covid pandemic has created an unusual circumstance in the world history and the wide-ranging consequences of the pandemic and the lockdown have started to emerge To ensure utmost safety at MaitriGhar, there were restrictions on entry of all external visitors & outsiders, the Widow Mothers (Mayiyas) and staff in self-quarantine since mid of March, highly selective vendor-picking process for fruits and other essentials, sanitization of food delivery vehicles, sanitization of the building. To ensure that no one is at risk of the disease, the staff stayed in the Old Age Home. All safety precautions were taken and staff were equipped with masks, and sanitizers. MaitriGhar while ensuring care and warmth for our widow mothers, has ensured good healthy nutrition on a daily basis with seasonal fruits, milk and supplements as required. Health Check ups and camps were facilitated following all safety protocolsIn the month of August , everyone in the home (both elderly residents and staff team) were tested for the first time (Rapid testing and RTPCR testing) and all tested negative.

 While the pandemic has brought new set of challenges, for elderly mothers residing in Maitrighar, life coping skills becomes difficult every day. This involves reorienting themselves to a new lifestyle routine fraught with new risks, while adhering to a new healthy norm. Wearing masks and constantly practicing safety measures, and while not letting go things that are essential to their daily routine like good health & nutrition, physical activities, and prayers has been a constant struggle. Our staff reminds them regularly about the risks of the disease. Counselling the elderly mothers to understand the criticality to cocoon them during the pandemic while respecting their sense of choice and dignity, in an institutional setting, has been a big challenge. For mothers who have come to this place and with the sole purpose of spending their last days in devotion to Lord Krishna, or the ones who are habituated to go to the Bhajjan Ashram, and the ones struggling with loneliness and isolation find it more difficult when their movements are restricted.  We have conducted regular health camps and counselling sessions addressed towards health and hygiene practices, anxiety and stress related problems due to the pandemic.  Additionally, we organised role play sessions to familiarise them with the ‘new normal,’ and prepare the staff  for any unforeseen eventuality. While working for 24 hours in the ashram, the team has been providing emotional care and support to the mothers since the lockdown and subsequently. They spent time in reading religious scriptures, singing bhajans. They also practice breathing exercises and dhyan yog ( sleep medication). They watch shows like Ramayan and Mahabharat .  

Our staff has ensured their physical activities aren’t hampered. They encourage the mothers for daily evening walk within the premises of the ashram while  they wear masks, maintain distance or walk one at a time in turns. the staff in the Shelter Home have been working unabated, ensuring the all residents have all the support and supplies that they need. Our team have been giving motivational talks and sessions every day, along with regular yoga and meditation . Yoga being one of the best forms of physical, mental and spiritual practice is best suited for this quarantine period. With breathing and meditation, it takes cares of their body, mind and soul. One of the resident mothers, 99 years old, advices others to follow her, as she practices yoga.  During these times of anxiety and stress, Yoga helps her to maintain a steady state of mind.  She smiles as she explains the benefits of being healthy to other inmates.

 Access to health care and medical services continues to be a big challenge. Most of the members have other comorbid conditions that puts them at a higher risk. With increasing cases in Vrindavan and Radhakund, and some ashrams being sealed by district suthorities, hospitals visit and treatments has high risks for the elderly. The mothers who are diabetic and who were prescribed medication 6 months ago require a change in medication or treatments and other essential consultations. This has an adverse impact on the progress of their health.  Providing affordable geriatric care and mental health cost of this crisis will play out in the years to come. Vrindavan being a hotspot for tourists and a religious hub attracts both national and international crowd. So we have to extremely careful for the safety of the mothers. 

In this quarter we have observe the 74th Independence Day in our homes, with celebrations and decorations. The mothers offered their gratitude to all caretakers. We also celebrated Raksha Bandhan, where they tied rakhis to team members. Their prayers and faith have brought us so far. Your support will take us further.

Elderly mothers are  adapting to lockdowns and social distancing while transitioning toward an era of permanent changes in the way they live. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we continue all our activities, as we learn and embrace a new way of life.  The world is presently knee-deep in uncharted waters, and the only way to move forward is to embrace what can only be called, the new normal and none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you for being our pillar of strength! With your precious support, we have been and we will be able to translate Maitri’s commitment into a meaningful change. During these unexpected and unprecedented times when we do not know of the new challenges ahead us, we are hopeful because never before has it been so important to know that we are all in this together.   We sincerely hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.

We want to assure you that we will continue to keep the mothers safe and healthy.

 

With Gratitude

nutritious meals
nutritious meals
Yoga
Yoga
99 year old mother doing yoga
99 year old mother doing yoga
99 year old mother doing yoga
99 year old mother doing yoga
Celebrations- IndependenceDay
Celebrations- IndependenceDay
Celebrations-Rakhsha Bandhan
Celebrations-Rakhsha Bandhan
Celebrations- IndependenceDay
Celebrations- IndependenceDay
nutritious meals
nutritious meals
dyan Yog
dyan Yog
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Widow Mothers Prepare to face the pandemic
Widow Mothers Prepare to face the pandemic

Dear Maitri Friend,

With Coronavirus being our major concern presently, we have set out to ensure that the elderly mothers don’t remain on the sidelines, but are looked after like they deserve. The pandemic has disrupted lives and is challenging the survival and well-being of human beings, especially of the vulnerable.

MaitriGhar while ensuring care and warmth for our widow mothers has ensured good healthy nutrition on a daily basis with seasonal fruits, milk and supplements as required. We have restricted the entry of all external visitors & outsiders, with the Widow Mothers (Mayiyas) and staff in self quarantine since mid of March . As elderly, chronic patients, poor and other vulnerable population are more prone to this disease, Maitri has set out to ensure that all necessary precautions & safety measures are at place.

Abandoned by their families, most of these mothers have come to Vrindavan in the solace of Lord krishna where they spend most of the time doing kirtan and singing in Bhajjan Ashrams. Staying indoors and restricted movement is a big shift in their daily routine. Despite the reluctance, they followed everything that is advocated, from washing their hands properly with soap as many times as possible to cleaning homes. They cover their mouths, gargle and stay calm and participate in staying safe and keep others safe.

Across the globe, as public health experts have suggested that practicing social distancing and limiting human contact could control the disease, Mothers attempt to practice social distancing despite the difficulties in a space crunched accommodation. Heading to information on news and discussions with staff members, Mothers with diabetes and high blood pressure have become more conscious of their health.

Life during Covid Times can be challenging for anyone in an institutional setting . Maitri provides nutritious meals with fruit and milk. Maitri has ensured sufficient stocks of food and cooking supplies. Being vulnerable to loneliness, Maitri has also ensured that their emotional and psychological needs are taken care of. The outbreak of a disease, lack of meaningful activity engagement, restrictions in mobility could result in isolation, mass anxiety or even a mental health crisis. While the staff made certain there is no panic or anxiety, the mothers engaged themselves with different activities to keep themselves busy..Their mental and physical health is being ensured with engaging them in activities like yoga , meditation , kirtan and self reiki; They also engage in story telling, board games, carrom, etc

Mothers at MaitriGhar join in with the nation's efforts, through prayers, lighting diyas and showing their gratitude for  the services of our doctors, nurses and police personnel and armed forces who are engaged at the front lines in saving the lives of our countrymen. While fear and frustration grips over worldwide, gratitude acts as a solidifying agent in socially-isolated times. It has a powerful effect in safeguarding mental health, motivating the spirit of frontline warriors and reducing fear and stress.  

In this stressful time, when the only way to fight this pandemic is to minimize the very thing that is essential to being human: social connectivity; Solidarity, support & safety becomes the guiding mantra.  Let's ensure this distancing brings us closer together and we get pass these difficult times.

Your support during this time of crisis, forms the backbone of our elderly care programme. Never before has it been so important to know that we are all in this together. We sincerely hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. We want to assure you that despite all challenges, all activities will continue to keep the mothers safe and healthy.

Thank you.

.

Health Check ups
Health Check ups
Yoga
Yoga
Mothers take all safety measures
Mothers take all safety measures
Milk Distribution
Milk Distribution
Mothers practice physical distancing
Mothers practice physical distancing
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Mothers explore Varanasi
Mothers explore Varanasi

“Health does not always come from medicine. Most of the time, it comes from peace of mind, peace in the heart, peace in the soul. It comes from laughter and love.”

 Dear Maitri Friend,

What a wonderful year we have had so far at MaitriGhar! It was our desire to bring these beautiful widow mothers into a safe home with all the basic amenities that will make their stay comfortable and help them achieve a happy and healthy ageing. Your love has helped more than 300 widow mothers. We had a dream to make a difference in the lives of widow mothers and 10 years now, you have made a difference.

You will be happy to know that we have started excursion trips for mothers as a part of emotional and mental well-being. We believe group travel and exploring new places not only inculcates agency, self-independence, social connections but also helps in a healthy ageing.

 Mothers explore Varanasi

On the day of International Day for elimination of Violence against women, Maitri organized another group travel for Widow Mothers. Vrindavan has always been the mysterious place where thousands of widows flock to live. Most of them have left home, and have been travelling in solitude, for survival, with memories they would not like to return to. This journey from grief to growth has been extraordinary and difficult, but they have created a new family in Maitrighar Old Age Home . Maitri has introduced excursions and group travels with widow mothers to provide them with opportunities of expressing themselves and enhance social bonding. 

Varanasi holds a lot of significance for the mothers. One of the mothers said “I always wanted to walk by Ganga. It is believed that if a person dies in Varanasi—defined as the old city between the rivers Varuna and Assi—she will be redeemed of all sins. But all I want to do is sit beside the water, and catch a breath”. She insisted how she has realized that life is to lived in the present. Another 72 year old mother who has difficulty in walking couldn't help expressing her excitement and joy. She said she felt like a child running by the river Ganga and Ghats. The trip became a wonderful experience to meet and talk with other elderly women and widows who lived nearby.

 Health as a priority

 "To keep the heart healthy, unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent--that is to triumph over old age."

 There's nothing more important than good health - that's our principal capital asset. In Maitrighar, every alternate day a doctor performs routine check up; mothers are taken to hospitals for different treatments as advised; there is provision of two nutritious meals with fruit and milk ; activities like Yoga, reiki etc are encouraged to improve mobility and movement; trips are organised for better social bonding and participation

 The mothers observed and celebrated Republic Day . The ashram was decorated with lights and flowers. The widows sang patriotic song, and flag hoisting was done by the oldest member of the home. A 105 year old hurled the national flag as she sang the tunes of the nationala anthem. They all sang bhajans and were served special meals.The Maiyyas were visited by the students of Sri Ram School, Delhi on to make them feel loved and cherished. The visit by these students really made the Maiyyas very happy.

 We invite well wishers and supporters to come and visit our ashram. They crave for love and affection. Your presence will be the warmest of gifts.

Varanasi Trip
Varanasi Trip
Ghats
Ghats
Mothers share their experience
Mothers share their experience
Ready for group travel
Ready for group travel
DEntal check ups
DEntal check ups
Specialised health treatment
Specialised health treatment
Republic Day- Celebrations
Republic Day- Celebrations
Flag hoisting b A 105 year old mother
Flag hoisting b A 105 year old mother
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Let the light of festive season shine on your life
Let the light of festive season shine on your life

 "Within you is the light of a thousand suns"

 “May your life shine and glow with the warmth of the festive season” -Widow Mothers, MaitriGhar

 Dear Maitri Friend,

What a wonderful year we have had so far at MaitriGhar! It was our desire to bring these beautiful widow mothers into a safe home with all the basic amenities that will make their stay comfortable and help them achieve a happy and healthy ageing.

 Since the inception of our programme to promote identity, respect and dignity for the widows and empowering them with access to health care and education about their citizenship rights etc., we have recognized their challenges with mental and emotional health. Widows face legal, religious, cultural and traditional constraints including barriers to inheritance, land ownership, remarriage and acceptance in community and society. They are deprived of their basic rights of identity, finances and right to live in their own home and have faced multiple accounts of violence and abuse at the hand of society and children. Through the tremendous generosity of yours, Maitri is well on its way to providing quality services for mental and emotional well being of Widow Mothers.

 You made possible for widow mothers to:

  • Have nourishing meals (Lunch and Dinner)
  • Daily milk and fresh fruits
  • Weekly health check ups
  • In-house nurse and doctor for aftercare
  • Counselor for mental health care
  • Group Therapy and counseling
  • Excursion Trips to inculcate social bonding, self-independence, mobility etc.
  • Access Identity Cards necessary for accessing state benefits
  • Connect to banking facility with zero balance
  • Access widow’s pension scheme provided by the state
  • Enough warm clothing to face cold and damp season ahead
  • New sets of sarees and other essentials.

 Counseling and Behavioural Change group sessions

This has been an important addition for the well being of widow mothers and well received. Maitri has counselors who provide one to one counseling, maintains case studies for each beneficiary, conducts group-counseling sessions.  Maitri has conducted therapy sessions through an external facilitator.

The intention of the sessions is to support the participants to calm down, feel relaxed and to let them express themselves as a fully functioning being. This is important for elderly women who are recovering from trauma or might be going through the phase of difficulty to cope with their day-to-day life challenges. The objectives of the project are to promote self-awareness focusing on three levels of awareness (Physical, emotional and mental) and to let the participants find their own way of feeling safe (breath, physical sensation, movement, drawing, sharing, etc.) using “Movement-Based Expressive Art Therapy” as a tool to open the gates of creativity.

Apart from that, group counseling sessions are conducted to build rapport, explain the concept of counseling and how the widow mothers can avail benefits from the same, engaing in discussions relevant to day to day issues faced by mothers. The topics covered in these sessions are Sharirik Swachchhata (Personal hygiene); Achchha Swasthya (Health seeking behavior); Mel Milap aur Dosti (Building Interpersonal Communications and sisterhood); Ladai Jhagde se hone wali haniyan (Effects of fights and disputes on one’s life and relationships); Benefits of Yoga & Reiki; Discipline and Behaviours.  etc

 Excursions and Group travel to empower women and build social bonding 

“Health does not always come from medicine. Most of the time, it comes from peace of mind, peace in the heart, peace in the soul. It comes from laughter and love.”


Two trips from Radhakund to Haridwar were facilitated in February and at the end of March for two groups of women (40). For Majority of widow mothers, this trip was a first group trip. This trip was a great bonding exercise and a very emotional tour for the widow Mothers. Maitri had organized a third and fourth group travel in the month of June on International Widow’s day( 23rd June 2019) and On 1st October 2019, on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons, where widow mothers have travelled from the interiors of Radhakund to the Golden city of Amritsar visiting Wagah Border, Jallinwanala bagh. Most of the mothers have expressed the sense of calmness and freedom they experience during this travel.

 The light and warmth of festive season

 All these activities have strengthen our elderly care and support programme for widow mothers. Your support has redefined impact. Its evident from the warmth and happiness witnessed during the celebrations. September was the month of festivities and celebrations. All the widow mothers in Vrindavan and Radha Kund celebrated Durgashtami and Dussehra beautifully. In the month of October, Diwali was celebrated with a lot of festivities. The ashram was decorated with lights and flowers. The widow beneficiaries lit diyas and candles and did Pooja to welcome the various Gods and Goddesses on the solemn occasion of Diwali. They all sang bhajans and were served special meals.

 We want to thank everyone and extend the colors of these festivities. Your support has helped us light Maitri Ghar. Thankyou

 Do share the project link with your friends and family and tell them why this project has your heart and what it means to you. Help us spread the word and share our mission with like-minded and passionate people. Thank you for being our pillar of strength! We wish you a great holiday season and lots of love and laughter with your loved ones.

Happy Diwali: Celebrations in Maitrighar
Happy Diwali: Celebrations in Maitrighar
Mothers making Diyas
Mothers making Diyas
Widow Mothers- Wagah Border, Amritsar
Widow Mothers- Wagah Border, Amritsar
Travel to Amristar
Travel to Amristar
Widow Mothers visit Golden Temple
Widow Mothers visit Golden Temple
Gratitude and Greetings from Widow Mothers
Gratitude and Greetings from Widow Mothers
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Widow Mothers visit the Golden Temple,Amritsar
Widow Mothers visit the Golden Temple,Amritsar

Dear Maitri Friends,

Your love has helped more than 300 widow mothers. We had a dream to make a difference in the lives of widow mothers and 10 years now, you have made a difference. India is undergoing a demographic transition. While 8 percent of its population was recorded as 60 years and above in 2011 Census, it is expected to increase its share of elderly to 12.5 percent and 20 percent by 2026 and 2050 respectively. There is a growing pressure on all aspects of the elderly-financially, health and shelter. It becomes immensely difficult for a widow woman, more so of an ageing widow mother, with lack of resources, property rights and speculations of being weak and inferior are often at the receiving end of discrimination and violence at every stage of their life. Maitri has been working with homeless, abandoned and ageing Widow Mothers in Vrindavan and Radhakund since 2010.

You will be happy to know that on the day of International Widow’s Day, Maitri organized another group travel for Widow Mothers. Connecting people, living adventure, travelling healthily and actively, celebrating life. is what the beautiful widow mothers were engaged with on #InternationalWidowsDay.

A soulful Trip to The Golden Temple:

Amritsar, the city of gurus and the city of nectar, a new exposure for the widow mothers. The golden temple is an irresistible gurudwara, nestled at the center of a captivating water pool. Crowned with a pure golden dome, it secretes tranquility and modesty that can calm a restless heart. Maitri has organised another group travel where widow mothers have travelled from the interiors of Radhakund to Amritsar and are exploring every place. The mothers were indeed touched by the beauty and had memorable experiences. The trips are a great bonding exercise and inculcate feelings of friendship and sisterhood among the women, helping the women express themselves better adding on to the mobility.

Do you know, some of them have never travelled outside of the city since they left their homes for Radhakund? Do you know one of the mothers expressed profound joy on wearing a kurta and our staff was surprised to see how delighted she was? There are numerous other stories, which brings a smile to your face as every travel creates memories. But the most important part is the mere fact that a person who is ageing, is a widow, is a woman and has probably struggled through realities that these identities bring along with them, is experiencing new places and new memories.

Being devotes of Lord Krishna, some mothers also shared their feelings. God is one, be it Nanak or KRISHNA . The mothers have understood the essence. They call the Sarovar (pond) , samudra (ocean) and want to take a dip everyday to wash away all negativity from their lives. Travel creates memories, stories, new friendships, new food tastes and new experiences. Interestingly they enjoy the gurbani kirtan so much that they want to hear it even though they do not understand the language.

Stories Of Change

Story I: She can walk again

Mother “A”, a 81 year old mother has been staying in Maitrighar since a long time .She was very ill and was not able to move. She was bed ridden and kept under strict observation. Even doctors had given up but our staff never left hope. With routine healthcare, regular medication, daily massage and care from our in-house nurse, she is now able to walk. She walks around asking everyone about their health. With regular care and love from our compassionate staff she has not only recovered, but also gives health advice to the nurse and other mothers. She takes part in all activities and has now become a health advocate for herself and others.

Story II: Her knees have got better

Mother “B” , 60 years old was born in Bihala, Kolkata to a garage laborer. At the age of 17 she was married to a 36 year old man. After her husband’s death she faced a large number of issues but with the support of her father she was able to raise her children. In recent years however, she has not been able to receive any support from her children as they also have financial constraints resulting from extreme poverty. She has been staying at Radhakund ashram along with her widow mother. She used to have a very poor health and required assistance for her day-to-day living. Four months back she got admitted in a hospital and since recovery she faced a lot of difficulty in walking. With support and encouragement from the staff and widow mothers, she started working on herself. Her health has improved. She has learnt stitching under Maitri's skill building initiative and it has become one of her favorite tasks now. Recently, one of our staff members was blessed with a daughter and Mayiya stitched two frocks for her. This was a heartfelt moment for everyone.

There is such great satisfaction to share these moments of happiness and gratefullness.  Its only through your support we are able to make a difference.   Your gift is touching the heart of every mother 's  soul, and it is priceless. Thank you. 

Widow Mothers visit Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
Widow Mothers visit Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
Travel to Amritsar
Travel to Amritsar
Story I: She can walk again
Story I: She can walk again
Story II: Her knees have got better
Story II: Her knees have got better
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Organization Information

Maitri India

Location: New Delhi, Delhi - India
Website:
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Twitter: @Maitri NGO
Project Leader:
Maitri India
New Delhi, Delhi India
$393,858 raised of $500,000 goal
 
3,598 donations
$106,142 to go
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