Lifestyle Viral and Trending 23 Mar 2016 Reuniting broken fam ...

Reuniting broken families: Social service graduate gives elderly a dignified life

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | G SUNDER RAJ
Published Mar 23, 2016, 12:07 am IST
Updated Mar 23, 2016, 12:07 am IST
Housemates of home for the aged Krishnasadan
 Housemates of home for the aged Krishnasadan

Five kilometre from the Kompally flyover is a home for the aged called Krishnasadan,  that’s spread across 3 acre. Though it looks like just another of the 260 odd such homes in the city, what sets this one apart is its vision – reintegrating shunned or abandoned senior citizens with their families or caretakers.

The old age home that was started in 2014 by 31-year-old Krishna Mohan Rao Adiraju has successfully reintegrating 69 such families. Adiraju says that the decision to start the home for the aged was not spontaneous.

A master’s degree holder in Social Service from a city college, Krishna traveled to over 25 countries, propagating and learning various effective methods of social service. During this time he also met Nobel laureates Wangari Mathai and Muhammad Yunus.

This instilled in him a stronger sense of pride for his country’s culture. He says, “We are known for our big, joint families. But over the years more nuclear families have started to crop up — and old parents are being abandoned.”

In cases caused due to simple squabbles or disagreements, which lead to disintegration of families, he tries to counsel them and help them reconcile.

“They (the elderly) storm out of the house after a fight or a misunderstanding with their children and come here. Although we give them shelter, we try and attempt to felicitate a healthy reconciliation and bridge the communication gap,” he says.

However, for the 15 people who have made this home their final abode, Krishna sits and patiently listens to them everyday. “It’s tough to listen to some of their life stories without being choked with emotions.”

The toughest challenge he faces is when he sees children pick up their parents for a family gathering or a birthday party and then drop them back immediately after. “It’s very disheartening. They don’t even wait for a day after the event to drop them back here,” he adds.

Ninety-eight-year-old Hema’s son is the head of a prominent pharmaceutical company and yet she has been left to fend for herself. She lived in a temple and survived on whatever the priests offered for over four months.

She says, “Just when I had lost all hope, Krishna took me in and now fulfills all my basic needs. I don’t want to badmouth anyone and pray that my child just lives happily.”

Krishna adds, “I got a call from the priest’s son. When I saw her plight I was shocked. I took her in immediately.” Each inmate has a different story, but the underlining factors are more or less the same. And Krishna is now their only hope. “It’s a huge responsibility and I take it very seriously,” he adds.  

Looking back, the 31-year-old recalls how he would often be questioned about his intention to get into social service.

He says, “My family was shocked and thought I would end up becoming a monk or a saint. I had to sit them down and convince them.”  

Everyone wants to do social service after retiring but realise they don’t have the strength. “I got into social service at an age when I can think on my feet. When I eventually look back on my life, I’m sure I’ll feel content about having helped uphold our culture, save families from disintegrating and knowing I gave back to society,” he says.

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