Voluntary Agencies And Care Of Old Aged

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VOLUNTARY AGENCIES AND CARE OF OLD AGEDA study based on the organizations for old aged persons in VaranasibyDr. Umesh K. Singhumeshka@gmail.comUmesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comAbout VaranasiThe city of Varanasi, popularly known as Kashi, stands high in the Hindu psyche with all its glory of antiquity, religious symbol and sacred spaces. With its rich religio-cultural ethos, this city has a unique and important meaning for devout Hindus.Umesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comUmesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comKashi is described as mukti dayani or moksha dayani. Those who are living outside Kashi keenly desire to die in Kashi, if not, at least cremation in Kashi or immersion of the ash in the river Ganga at Kashi. It is believed that not only dying, cremation and other after death rituals, but simply living in this city helps liberation of the soul from its bondage and for accumulation of punya. Umesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comUmesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comAbout the studyThe present study is an exploration of the role of voluntary agencies the in care of old aged persons in the religio-cultural context of the city of Varanasi. The study attempts to understand the types of religio-cultural organizations available for old aged persons in Varanasi. It tries to know the facilities provided by these organizations and the activities performed by them. The study further explores the kinds of inmates availing the services of these organizations. It seeks to understand the life situation of the old aged persons living in these organizations, what life-values they hold and whether they are satisfied in the institutional setting available to them.Umesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comUmesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comThe present study has covered following voluntary organizations of the city 1.Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service: Home for the Aged, Luxa, Varanasi 2. Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan, Misir Pokhra, Varanasi3.Kashi Mumukshu Bhawan, Assi, Varanasi4. Missionaries of Charitys Nirmal Hriday: Home for the Poor and Destitute, Shivala, VaranasiUmesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comUmesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comThe Inmates of Old Age HomesKinds of inmates availing the organizations under the study have varied socio-economic background and personal history, and they also have different reasons for availing the services of these institutions. Institution wise every institution seems to cater the needs of a specific set of old aged persons and this makes every institution unique in their own way. Yet, in most of the cases, there is a shared feeling of religiosity and awareness of the cultural ethos of the city that binds the inmates and the organization in an organic unity.Umesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comUmesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comThe Life-Situation and the Life-Values of the InmatesDay-to-day life-situation of the inmates and their routine activities in the organization varies depending on the institution they are living in. Not only this, they also hold different life-values that depict their belief pattern and mind set.The life-situation and life-values of the inmates of the old age homes included in the present survey depict some common strands and considerable variation too.Umesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comUmesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comConcluding RemarksOur survey of the old aged homes run by different charitable organizations in the holy city of Kashi makes it very clear that culture, especially religion, can provide a very valuable context to the life-situation and life-values of the old aged persons. The general tenor of the modernizing society may be towards individualism, formalism, and goal-directed and self-centred activities, yet in the case of old aged homes in Kashi, the compassion, the charity and the societal help to the helpless are still the dominant norms. Umesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.comUmesh K Singh umeshka@gmail.com


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