Telangana

A life in service of senior citizens

Asra enquiring about the well-being of an inmate of the old-age home run by a Hindu philanthropist in Karimnagar town.

Asra enquiring about the well-being of an inmate of the old-age home run by a Hindu philanthropist in Karimnagar town.   | Photo Credit: K.M. Dayashankar

Asrath Fathima serves inmates of a Hindu-run orphanage

In one of the shining examples of communal harmony in the district, a Muslim woman is working and serving senior citizens at an old-age home and orphanage maintained by a Hindu philanthropist, and is winning accolades for her service to the hapless people.

When Sri Veerabrahmendra Swamy Orphanage was opened by one Veeramadhav in Housing Board Colony on the outskirts of Karimnagar town some 18 years ago, Asrath Fathima alias Asra, who was just 13-years-old then, and residing along with her family in the same locality, approached the orphanage for a job because of her abject poverty. Besides, she also stopped going to school after completing Class VII.

Incidentally, she did not ask any money for her work in the orphanage, but only asked two square meals for her and her family who were living in poverty because of ill-health of her father and mother. Moved by Asra’s plight, philanthropist Veeramadhav asked her to work in the orphanage by cooking and serving food to the inmates. Though she was not good at cooking, she learnt it from her mother and won the hearts of the residents with her delicious dishes.

As she was getting food, clothing and some financial assistance — donated by the people visiting the orphanage — she dedicated her life to serve the inmates. Now, at the age of 28, she has become ‘Amma’ for around 38 senior citizens living in the orphanage. She helps the senior citizens when they are sick by providing medicines distributed by philanthropic doctors and feeds them and even helps the senior citizens in bathing and in wearing clothes.

Talking to The Hindu, Asra said: “I have decided to dedicate my life to serve these old people who are discarded by their children. I have decided to remain unmarried and serve the inmates and treat the senior citizens as my children. There is no religion in serving humanity.”

“I am very happy to work in orphanage as its organiser helps me and my family. He is paying my house rent, besides meeting other family expenses. The doctors who visit the orphanage provide free medical assistance at their hospitals to me and my family after seeing my service to the aged,” she said. Philanthropist Veeramadhav said Asra has also become one of the founder of the orphanage and her dedicated service has helped it become what it is today. Incidentally, she also helped in conduct of funeral of 116 inmates, he added.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 5:31:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/a-life-in-service-of-senior-citizens/article31026378.ece

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