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Field to Factory: Film and ethnography of industrialisation in Chhattisgarah, Central India


THE LAST SHELTER

(Home For Old People)

A person who has spent his/her golden days (time of youth) in bringing up his/her children and working for society and nation; wishes to live in a flourishing home at the last stage of life where his/her own wife/husband, children, daughter in laws, grandson/ daughter live together.  But this thing doesn’t happen with every one.  There are many people who has a flourishing home, even though, they are living all alone.  They stray away for food and shelter for themselves.  Home for old people (OPH) are such a place where aged people who are tortured and neglected by their own family members and feel themselves all alone in this world, are getting foods, clothes and shelter free of cost. Such type of OPH is situated in village Pulgaon which is only 4km away from district head office Durg.I propose a 10 minutes documentary about life in OPH.  

 This OPH has been established with a motto “`who have nobody their own, we are with them”(Jisake Koi Nahin ,Usake Hum) in year 1993 by Red Cross Society with the help of some social workers of Durg. This starting wing designed the whole policy and rules for OPH regarding to arrangement for living, facilities, daily routines, parameters for keeping an old person in OPH etc. etc. Following parameters and policies were decided at the time of establishing:

(1) A person –

           (a) Who is 55-70 years old,

          (b) Who does not have any infectious diseases,

           (c) Who is able to do his\her own work of daily routine,

           (d) Who does not belong begging, criminative activities and mentally 

                handicapped people,

  will be eligible to live here in OPH with concurrence of his/her nearest

  relatives.

(2) Some profitable work like farming and gardening had been decided so that they could earn some money by selling flowers, grains and vegetables and they could feel themselves busier.

(3) Television, newspapers and books will be means of entertainment.


District collector who also works as the president of Red Cross Society appointed a committee of social workers for the help of Red Cross Society in terms of conducting OPH. When this OPH started, it got a generous help from an organization of Gujarat named as ‘Anandi Ben Mehata.’ This organization sent a large amount of eatable goods, clothes, beds and blankets of Rs. 4 to 5 lakhs for OPH. Building of OPH has been constructed under ‘Social Welfare and Panchayat Department’. Donations from various industrialists, societies, organizations and social workers are the main sources of income. Moreover; Red Cross Society also provides a fund for OPH per year. Non-Government-Organizations are also provided meals, clothes and other things under their welfare programme on some special days like Independence Day, republic day, Gandhi Jayanti or on their foundation day.

 In 1996, after four years of establishing of OPH, it’s conducting sub-committee (group of social workers) changed so that new people could get chance to conduct it. But it was harmful for OPH because new members could not take interest and neglected it. Before 1997, it was in good condition. Old people were interested in farming and gardening and they earned from these. But now it does not happen there. According to some people –“Red Cross Society and Conducting-sub-committee for OPH both are not interested in OPH and this OPH is hardly able to manage food.”

 12 old people (9 men&3 women) are living here right now. There are two workers named Mr. Shatruhan Soni and Smt. Uma Soni who are working as manager and cook respectively in this OPH. In my film, I want to show how old people live here, what is their life style in OPH, are they happy here or not. I will use interview of some old people so that they can share their family background and thoughts. I hope that people will be able to know how are old people living in OPH though they got their own family, by what reasons they are living here and what they think about resolution of joint family which is missing very rapidly in our Indian Society.