Bengaluru

Age is not on their side, but there is no lack of enthusiasm

Work is welcome: Nightingales Sandhya Kiran welcomes elders who want to keep themselves busy but cannot afford membership in existing active-ageing centres for senior citizens.— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Work is welcome: Nightingales Sandhya Kiran welcomes elders who want to keep themselves busy but cannot afford membership in existing active-ageing centres for senior citizens.— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.  

Elders active-ageing centres to keep themselves busy, and it doesn’t cost them a thing

The television on an elevated platform is beaming a funny Tamil movie on a sunny afternoon. But few pairs of eyes are glued to it. Most of those present in the big hall have their backs to the T.V., their hands busy at work. Expertly tearing, folding and gluing together paper covers, a few senior citizens have moved out of slums into a unique active-ageing centre, which not just promises to keep them busy, but also helps them earn a little pocket money.

Nightingales Sandhya Kiran is located in central Bengaluru. But unlike the rest, it welcomes elders who want to keep themselves busy but cannot afford membership in existing active-ageing centres for senior citizens.

Not only are inmates able to earn a few hundred rupees for the covers they make out of old newspaper and magazines, but are also taken care of. Apart from four meals a day, activities, including yoga, ensure that they are kept busy.

No wonder not one of them is complaining.

Kanakamma (76), a former nurse, shuffles expertly between three languages (English, Kannada and Hindi) in between slipping into an old Hindi song when asked about her husband. “He was a good man,” she says fondly. She lives with her daughter and grandchildren. Then why come to the centre? “What do I do sitting at home all day? My daughter gives me food when I go back home, and then I sleep,” she says, hinting at the limited interaction with her family.

In another corner of the room is Narayan Swamy (82), a mestri during his younger days. With advancing age, work dried up and he didn’t know what to do with his time. His wife (60) is still employed by a well-to-do family, who have even accommodated the couple within their premises.

“After a fall last year, I cannot do much. I experience peace when I come here,” he says. Ask about his children and hesitation comes to the fore. “We are in touch,” is all he will offer, as he gets back to making covers.



Apart from four

meals a day, activities, including yoga, ensure that they are kept busy



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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:35:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Age-is-not-on-their-side-but-there-is-no-lack-of-enthusiasm/article14384968.ece

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