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
Identity,Dignity & Respect for Widow Mothers
Identity,Dignity & Respect for Widow Mothers

 “Just as a mother at the risk of life

loves and protects her child, her only child,

so one should cultivate this boundless love

to all that live in the whole universe.”

 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. In 2008, Maitri came across a unique and an extremely vulnerable population in Vrindavan, known as the "Widows of Vrindavan". The widows were victims of domestic violence, perpetrated by their own family members, including their sons, daughters and relatives. They were abandoned, rendered homeless and destitute to live on the streets of Vrindavan, begging for survival. It was a critical moment in the history of Maitri and formed a benchmark to work towards identity, dignity and respect for women and in this case widows. In July 2010, Maitri launched Project Jeevan (meaning, life, in Hindi), in Vrindavan, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh state of India.

 How Far We've Come – Ten Years of Identity, Respect & Dignity

 Maitri has built two old age homes for widow mothers in Vrindavan and Radhakund and has reached out to more than 300 widow mothers. Maitri provides daily nutritious meals for lunch and dinner, in addition to health supplements, fruit & milk, clothing, facilitates health heck ups and facilitates citizenship rights for Widow Mothers. Though your support cannot be measured in numbers or words, but here is a brief report of the impact it has created.

 -Improvement in Health, Nutrition and Overall wellbeing

 Malnutrition in elderly widows is both a health outcome as well as a risk factor for disease. With low socioeconomic status, social isolation, psychological impairments, there is a further reduction in the diets of elderly widows. Hence ensuring proper nutrition forms the backbone of Project Jeevan. Nutrition influences the health and functional ability. Most of the widow mothers have suffered abuse, humiliation and have lived in pitiful states and conditions that have detrimental effect on their health. In addition to lack of proper health care, the widows have also experienced loss, neglect and isolation from their families and children. Older persons are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition. With growing age and constraints, the elderly population of widows is more susceptible to diseases and they have a direct affect on their functional ability.

 -Improvement in living conditions

 The quality of living has major implications for the health of widow mothers. Unhygienic and unhealthy conditions are of particular concern. Providing proper standards is therefore a key pathway for providing healthy living conditions and improving health and well being for the widows. Most of the women have been residing in impoverished conditions, streets, small rented dirty rooms, and have undergone different shifts and changes before coming the Maitri. Most of them have been living in inhumane conditions and mostly in overcrowding rooms. Poor living conditions are associated with a wide range of health conditions, including respiratory infections, asthma, chronic conditions, and mental health. Maitri Ghar provides a clean, safe and hygienic environment and also ensures widows inculcate and practice changes in health seeking and following healthy routines. There is a drastic change in the living conditions of the beneficiaries and enables improvement in nutritional status and health of the population.

 -Improvement in mobility, Participation and Social Connectivity

 While encouraging the widow mothers to follow a balanced and healthy diet, they are also involved in different kind of activities like Yoga, morning walk, etc to help in a healthy and active ageing. With access to activities, the widows are able to form stronger bonds with those around them and experience lower feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression; their overall sense of wellbeing, self worth and belonging improves. This helps in promoting stronger social bonds, participation and solidarity among widow mothers. Maitri celebrates festivals, organizes events, which encourages participation of widow mothers. Maitri celebrates Holi with widow mothers of Vrindavan and Radhakund. The celebrations are unique as widow mothers play Holi with flowers & colours to the beat of drums dancing with joy. A unique way of putting "tilak" on the forehead adds to the festive.

 Your support is more crucial now

 We are in the process of scaling our program and reach out to 50 more widow mothers and your support is more crucial. We have also made new additions to our program, which can help in fostering emotional and mental well-being of widow mothers. Ten years now, your support has created milestones for our project. A dream doesn't become a reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and a strong will. But a dream can turn into a miracle, when it becomes a collective effort of people who share your vision. We had a dream of restoring identity , dignity and respect of Widow Mothers. The dream has turned out to a powerful gesture, and our humble endeavour has turned to a warm old age home. Maitri is gratful for: 

 -Its rare and fortunate that we have such a compassionate staff who go about feeding, washing, bathing, cleaning and tending to the sick bedridden elderly to ensure that those who are with them can live out the last years of their lives with dignity and comfort.

- Its phenomenal to have a leadership who understands there is more to give and create. Their vision of identity, dignity and respect guided with values of compassion and inclusivity has helped create milestones of change.

-Its beautiful to have gratitude and blessings of women who have turned their struggles to victories, survival to hope and our humble endeavour to a warm home.

Its incredible to have well wishers who understand that a woman, more so a mother should never have to live a life of humiliation and abuse. We had a dream to make a difference in the lives of widow mothers and 10 years now, you have made a difference. We are in the process of reaching out to more widow mothers and your support is crucial.

For better Nutrition of Widow Mothers
For better Nutrition of Widow Mothers
For better participation and staying active
For better participation and staying active
Shower your love to these beautiful Widow Mothers
Shower your love to these beautiful Widow Mothers
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Maitri will miss you.
Maitri will miss you.

 Dear Maitri Friend, 

Thank you for your continued support to MaitriGhar, the old age home for widows in Vrindavan and Radhakund.  Through your act of kindness, we are able to ensure care and support for the abandoned, ageing and destitute widow mothers with shelter, food, clothing, and healthcare. As a result of clean and hygienic Home where they live, destitute when they came, widows now have a home, for life, where they are looked after as mothers and provided with everything that they should ideally have had in their own family home, meals, clothing and healthcare.

The project has successfully uplifted and transformed lives of more than 300 widow mothers. Having all documentations and identification, helps them achieve citizenship rights. It also promotes a sense of identity and self-confidence. Most of the widow mothers have lived in harsh and vulnerable conditions, poverty and neglect throughout their lives, which has direct bearing on their health. From poor eyesight to bad stomach ulcer, diabetes to paralytic stroke, they face a range of health problems. Maitri’s timely intervention helps their health condition from deteriorating. We hope that with your support, these widow mothers will continue to rekindle their integrity, dignity and respect.

 Dignity and Respect in Death.

In this last quarter we lost two of our widow mothers. Maitri fulfills cremations and funeral rites in compliance with religious tradition and beliefs as desired by every widow mother. Their families have abandoned most widow mothers. While suffering from ill health and lack of access to health care, the real indignity faced, was dying when no one cares for you. Maitri tries the best to initiate communications with family members. It’s heartbreaking when family members or children wont even visit on death of their own mother. As caregivers, loosing a member of Maitrighar is the most heartfelt sorrow. Yet Maitri do not send her with sadness but celebrate her age, patience, tenacity, will to survive and desire to live with dignity with joy. The body is but an outer covering for the soul. The reality is the soul, which never dies, but changes form. So we know in some way the departed will always be around us. We grieve because we are deprived of a loved one; the sense of loss is profound. When our beloved one left us forever, then we have nothing to do but pray for them.

One of the deceased was born in 24 Parganas. Her father worked on the fields. She was one of two siblings, a son and a daughter. Neither of them got educated because of their poor financial situation. At the age of 15, she married a 25 year old man in North 24 Parganas. Her husband worked on the fields. When one of her sons was 22, he left home. Last month, She was critically ill and admitted in a hospital. She has been living in Maitrighar since 2014. She passed away last October because of a heart attack. Increasingly frail and weak with ageing, she was always stronger in spirit. She was a loving person and has been staying in Maitrighar since a long time. She has touched so many hearts and the pain of loosing a mother cannot be described. We at Maitri will miss her and treasure her memories. She wanted balloons when she went. And she got them.

 Health as a priority

There's nothing more important than good health - that's our principal capital asset . The health of Maiyyas as they are lovingly called, is of paramount importance in Maitri Ghar Ashram. Most widow mothers are ailing and above the age of 60. They suffer from various illnesses due to old age and neglect by family before they came to the ashram. Apart from the health camps and regular visits of the doctor, on an average 100 widows are taken to the hospital every month for various medical referrals and procedures Apollo Hospital from Delhi and Delhi Commonwealth association held a multispecialty health camp at MaitriGhar in Vrindavan for the widow mothers of Vrindavan and Radhakund to screen them for breast cancer, Gynae, dental, eye, General, orthopaedic etc. and give medicine.

 Your contribution ensures that the widow mothers live in and die with identity, dignity and respect. Thank you for being our pillar of strength! We wish you lots of love and laughter with your loved ones.

Rest in Peace
Rest in Peace
May your soul rest on peace.
May your soul rest on peace.
Dignity and Respect in Death
Dignity and Respect in Death
Health is a priority to Maitri
Health is a priority to Maitri
Multi speciality Health Camp
Multi speciality Health Camp
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Widows of Vrindavan- A series of short stories
Widows of Vrindavan- A series of short stories

"All my life I was made to feel like a thorn in peoples lives, I no longer want to feel like that in my old age."- says a widow mother, 62 years

 A single mother, who was a poor widow, raised her. A child bride of 13 married to 35-year-old man, who not only was alcoholic, she was also his second wife. She suffered severe domestic violence at his hands and also the stepdaughter. He became poor after he sold off his land and squandered his wealth in his drunken stupor. After her husband’s death 12 years ago, she made a choice to move out of her village to regain her identity and moved to Vrindavan to live with dignity. Confident that her last journey would be with respect and dignity, she is engaging in creating business opportunities making lentil balls (vadis) with other mothers. She is among many other widow mothers who have to lead a life of neglect and poverty and have faced abuse at the hand of family and children. Most Widows are victims of domestic violence, inflicted by their family members, including their sons and relatives and rendered homeless and destitute to live on the streets of Vrindavan, begging. Widows are subjected to multiple levels of subordination because of their identities of being a woman, a widow and ageing.

 Most widows go through feelings of isolation and abandonment and we at Maitri understand the need to address emotional and mental well being of the widows.

June marks two important days, “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” and “International Widows’ Day” and we at Maître understand how deeply these two days are interlinked with each other. ON #InternationalWidowsDay Maitri released a series of short films capturing the journeys of widow mothers in created by Onir and Anticlock Films. “Widows of Vrindavan” brings together a series of 5 powerful stories of widow mothers and their struggles and survival as family and children left them alone. It encapsulates stories of strong women who were humiliated and abandoned by their family, children and society. 

You can watch here : 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hUvhHe0J7s&feature=youtu.be

 To be abandoned by your family and children is the most devastating experience of life stripping you of your dignity. To be misty eyed and a part of their being always hoping they will remember her and come for her is the most difficult experience. Widow mothers in Vrindavan need compassionate hearts that listen to their stories. MaitriGhar is not just a home but also a space that encourages and salutes fights and voices against abuse. Maitri believes and salutes stories of struggles. Above all, Maitri understands that these journeys are extraordinary and sharing them acknowledges the beauty of courage and plants seeds of hope. Maitri believes sharing heals half of the wounds and opens a path towards change and freedom.

 Your contribution ensures that we provide a platform and support the widow mothers in their journey of identity, dignity and respect. Thank you for being instrumental in sharing these stories of struggles and shaping journeys of victories along with the widows of Vrindavan and RadhaKund. We would like to thank you for your support. You help in providing a voice and strengthen a journey that refuses to bow down before abuse and discrimination.

In addition, your contribution also ensures that the widow mothers live in healthy and hygienic environment. They have clean rooms, clean beds, and maintain personal hygiene, which is necessary for a healthy life. With your partnership, we are enabling widows to live with idenitity, dignity and respect. We are providing them with a safe shelter, nutritious meals and health supplements. Additionally widows of MaitriGhar have started a new activity. Widows of MaitriGhar are busy making Vadis (made with soaked and grounded lentils), keeping in mind hygiene and cleanliness .You can encourage them as well as support them by buying and using them in your recipes. Maitri aims to Convert their efforts into a successful venture.

 We would like to express our gratitude to all our donors and supporters for supporting the widow mothers and Maitri. It is only with your compassion and support that we are able to reach out and bring joy and laughter in their lives. You make a difference to the lives of the widow mothers in MaitriGhar. Thank you for being our pillar of strength! Gratitude and Blessings.

Survival and Hope
Survival and Hope
Widows making Home made Vaddis
Widows making Home made Vaddis

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Maitrighar- A home for widows
Maitrighar- A home for widows

Dear Maitri Friend, 

 Thank you for your continued support to Maitri Ghar, the old age home for widows in Vrindavan.  Through your act of kindness, we are able to ensure care and support for the abandoned, ageing and destitute widow mothers with shelter, food, clothing, and healthcare.With Mother’s Day around the corner, we celebrate the widow mothers who have found a better way of living life in Maitri Ghar. We hope that with your support, these widow mothers will continue to rekindle their integrity, dignity and respect.

The seasonal change from harsh winters to warm spring has brought respite to our Maiyyas who are welcoming this change and enjoying the cool spring breeze. Their daily routine continues to be the same more or less but a welcome change is the sewing course in Radha Kund, which has four enthusiastic participants. The Maiyyas go for bhajans every morning and evening. This space gives them a chance to devote their energies to their spiritual and religious development and center the peace within. These spaces are also a place for them to interact and befriend like-minded individuals. This is the time where their yearning for devotional activities is fulfilled. The widows are being provided lunch as well as dinner by our food partners namely, Akshay Patra Foundation at Vrindavan & Radha Kund. There is adequate supply of milk and fruits every day.

 Benefits

Total number of meals provided to the widows was 8890 and total number of fruits served to them was 4749 in the month of April. Widows at Vrindavan went for medical checkups on every Friday and on every Saturday at Radha
Kund. In total 7 medical checkups have been conducted at both the places, which includes doctor’s visits to the hospital. Also, 112 widows were taken to the hospital for checkup. Across Maitri Ghar in Vrindavan and Radha Kund,
158kg rice and 120kg sugar was also distributed to 243 widows. In Maitri Ghar at Vrindavan and Radha Kund 326 sarees were distributed to all the widows. Also, 120 oil bottles and 60 towels were distributed to all the widows in Maitri Ghar Vrindavan. Two widows also got their Adhaar card and two of them got their pension.

 Success story:

She was born in from North 24 Pargana district in West Bengal. She is 70 years old and had 3 daughters and 2 sons. In a devastating flood 30 years ago in the region, she lost her own mother, as well as a daughter and both her sons. However, she still had two of her daughters. After coming to Maitri Ghar, she was diagnosed with Diabetes for which she began her treatment. After a series of counseling sessions for psychological distress, She regained her faith in her individuality and is currently living a content life with her daughters. We invite Maitri supporters and well-wishers of widow mothers to visit the mothers in Vrindavan and spend time. They crave love and affection and of course, someone to talk to. The mothers have immense motherhood in them and the desire of express this unconditional love is very strong. A listening ear, a shoulder to lean on and a warm hug will last them a long time till the next one.

In addition to all of these, the widows celebrated Holi with all its glory and pride. Maitri celebrates Holi every year with widows of Vrindavan and Radha kund to add colors to their lives, dismissing traditions that forbid them. The celebrations are unique because Maitri widow mothers play Holi with petals and flowers. They decorate the Home, making rangoli  (designs made on floor with colors and flowers) and welcome everyone with a special “tilak” on the forehead.

We would like to express our sincere thankyou for every supporter who helped us built a home for her. With your partnership, we are enabling about 250 widow mothers to live with dignity and respect. You have helped us built a home for her.

Your contribution ensures that the widow mothers live in healthy and hygienic environment. They have clean rooms, clean beds, and maintain personal hygiene, which is necessary for a healthy life. 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 lots of love and laughter with your loved ones.

Regular Medical Check up
Regular Medical Check up
Nutritious meals
Nutritious meals
Celebration of Holi
Celebration of Holi
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Medical checkup of widow mothers
Medical checkup of widow mothers

Dear Maitri Friend, 

Thank you for your continued support to Maitri Ghar, the old age home for widows in Vrindavan.  Through your act of kindness, we are able to ensure care and support for the abandoned, ageing and destitute widow motherswith shelter, food, clothing, and healthcare.

Last few months have our widow mothers struggle with the winter. The evenings and mornings are very cold and Maiyyas are enjoying the seasonal change.Their daily routine continues to be the same more or less. They go for bhajans every morning and evening. This space gives them a chance to devote their energies to their spiritual and religious development as well as a space where they interact with like-minded individuals who they can befriend. This is the time where their yearning for devotional activities is fulfilled.The widows are being provided lunch as well as dinner by our food partners namely, Akshay Patra Foundation at Vrindavan & Radha Kund. There is adequate supply of milk and fruits every day.

Total number of meals provided to the widows were 6300 and total number of fruits served to them was 3010 in tha last month. Widows at Vrindavan went for medical checkups on every Friday and on every Saturday at Radha Kund. In total 249 medical checkups have been conducted at both the places, which includes doctor’s visits to the hospital as well as the weekly medical camps. Also, 105 widows were taken to the hospital for checkup. Across Maitri Ghar in Vrindavan and Radha Kund blankets were distributed to 148 widows. Woollen wear like winter caps, gloves and socks were distributed to 240 widows across Maitri Ghar Vrindavan. In Maitri Ghar, Vrindavan and Radha Kund 65 sarees were distributed to all the widows. In Maitri Ghar Vrindavan and Radha Kund, 60 (oil, soap, shampoo) hygiene kits were distributed to all the widows and airbags were given to widows in Maitri Ghar Vrindavan. 

 Success story  :Our beneficiary was born and brought up in Bihar with her 7 sisters and 1 brother. Her father was a farmer. He didn't send any of his children to school but she had studied till 9th grade. She and her younger sister were educated by her uncle. At the age of 14 years, she was married to a 16 years old boy in Balia. Balia is a district in Banaras and is at 40 km distance from her father's home. Rameshwaram had a cement shop. They were happy in their relationship. They were blessed with a daughter. Her daughter is married. Rameshwaram died on 26th March, 1990 due to breaking of a nerve. After his death, she stayed with her in-laws. But later she left the house and went to live with her brother as they didn't treat her well. After some years, her brother died. She left home and reached Vrindavan. There she reached Maitri Ghar on 14th August 2017. She is happy there. She doesn't want to return to her family as she is contended there. She had her heart checkup done and she had severe weakness and joint pain. She was given physiotherapy and medication. She is feeling much better now and is very happy in Maitri Ghar, Vrindavan

We invite Maitri supporters and well-wishers of widow mothers to visit the mothers in Vrindavan and spend time. They crave love and affection and ofcourse talk. The need to touch is very strong in them as they feel unloved, a warm hug lasts them a long time till the next one.

Fruits being distributed
Fruits being distributed
Dental checkup in progress
Dental checkup in progress
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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
$454,180 raised of $500,000 goal
 
4,350 donations
$45,820 to go
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