Shanti Amma’s story reminds us of the pain and struggles that many poor and abandoned elderly undergo.
Shanti Amma is a 70 yrs old widow who has lived in a rented shanty in Kusumpur Pahari Slum for the last 17 years. She is originally from UP and came to Delhi with her husband after marriage. The financial suffering continued even after coming to Delhi. Her husband found a cleaner job, but the income was insufficient for the family of six people to survive. However, despite challenges, the couple raised the children.
Unfortunately, a series of tragedies unfolded when she lost her husband, daughter, and two sons within a very short time.
She fell into trauma and depression. To add woes, her last son started misbehaving with her, and it became impossible for her to stay with him. As she couldn’t bear the situation, she shifted to Kusumpur Pahari, along with her grandson, who became her responsibility for upbringing. Despite her ill health and mental trauma, she had to find work as a part-time cook in a nearby house for her livelihood and to raise her grandson.
Since her arrival in Kusumpur, Asha has become a ray of hope for Shanti Amma. She became a part of the ‘love and lunch’ geriatric feeding programme, where she enjoys freshly prepared, healthy lunch served by the Asha team with love and compassion; she also enjoyed the company of other elderlies in the community, which acted as a tonic for her loneliness and trauma. Asha also provides medical care, which significantly improves her medical condition.
Asha provides a Real Ray of hope for the lonely, vulnerable and abandoned elderlies whose families have left them behind in the rat race of life.