Deccan Chronicle

Moms grapple with the age-old problem

Deccan Chronicle.| Sumaya Junaid Ahmed

Published on: May 14, 2023 | Updated on: May 14, 2023
 Abandoned mothers sit in the verandah of Shifa Ullah Nursing Home and Old Age Home. (DC)

Abandoned mothers sit in the verandah of Shifa Ullah Nursing Home and Old Age Home. (DC)

Mother’s Day, celebrated on the second Sunday of May every year, is just another day for the women inmates at Shifa Ullah Old Age Home. They are dejected, lonely, and hapless. At this age of their life, they have seen it all. "I get numerous calls every day from children requesting us to keep their mother as they have become a burden for their well-settled but self-centred children during the last phase of their life," said Syed Sultan Quadri, chairman of Shifa Ullah Nursing Home and Old Age Home in Hassan Nagar.

"A major reason cited by children while leaving their mothers in old age home is that they have families and the house is too small to accommodate their parents. I counsel them for hours, reminding them that they too grew up in the same situation. If their parents could keep the children, why can’t they," Asma, the manager of an old age home, said.

With moist eyes, she wonders how one cannot take care of their mother. Children who learnt to walk by holding their mothers’ hands are now taking them to old age homes. Sakina Bi, living in the nursing home for the past four years, recalls how her two daughters grabbed her property after her husband died and kicked her out of the home. Sakina Bi’s story is the story of thousands of abandoned mothers.

Another woman, 80-year-old Kareema Bi, narrates her fight for dignity, "I gave birth to four sons and four daughters.  They abused me and none of them came to see me in last two years."

 Some have accepted the old age home as their abode. Seventy-year-old Beejan Bee doesn’t have any complaints for her two daughters who left her here. With tears in her eyes, she tells "I pray to god every day to call me back since I have had enough in this world."

These abandoned mothers get tearful while remembering their families.

Eighty years old Shehzadi Begum has lost her eyesight due to mental stress and long-term crying. She often peeps through the window and hope somebody from her family might come to take her. Sadly, she didn’t even receive a call from her family in the last four years.

There are a few who live here out of their free will. Some have been here for so long that they can’t remember when it became their actual home. And their loved ones became visitors.  

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