Andhra Pradesh

Scared of uncertain future, elderly people turn to temples

Elderly people, wearing masks, listening to a man as he reads out a purana at a temple on outskirts of Puttur in Chittoor district.  

Valli Mutthu (67) of Nagari municipality had lost her job at half a dozen households as a maid during the lockdown induced by coronavirus last year. She just resumed her work in a few houses in November last year, after the infection started subsiding and the situation eased a little.

Before she could put her life in order, Ms. Valli Mutthu lost her jobs again as the second wave of the pandemic came in the first week of April.

The spurt in COVID cases has left many elderly people a bundle of nerves. Scared of their uncertain future, they find themselves a mere spent force and turn to listening to bhajans and puranas for solace.

Reports of those died of the virus getting ‘orphan-like’ funeral by the staff of the civic bodies, shortage of hospital beds, oxygen and blackmarketing of life-saving drugs and hefty hospital bills have left them shaken.

Many of the elderly people are now seen at local temples, offering prayers, and spending time by doing bhajans and listening to puranas. Such scenes are become common in suburban areas along the Chittoor-Tamil Nadu border, which is reeling under the impact of the second wave.

“I came to Nagari from Chennai three decades ago after my husband’s death. The families who knew me well now find me a pariah. They think I am a potential carrier of the virus. I find solace in small temples now. I eat whatever little I can find once or twice a day. I spend time by listening to bhajans and religious discourses,” she says.

Parameshwaraiah (72), who retired as a peon of a government office in Puttur says he has none to turn to in case of any emergency.

“After my wife’s death a decade ago, I have been treated as a burden by his son’s family. I have to give away a big chunk of my pension to them. They don’t talk to me much. I am vexed with life. I find several likes of me visiting temples and praying. I join them. We chit chats on puranas and the latest news on the pandemic,” he says.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 18, 2021 5:48:06 PM |

Next Story