Few visits do live a print-mark on our mind that you keep thinking about it even after few days. Such one visit was to ‘Mavtar Vrudhashram’, an old age home situated on the banks of a beautiful pond in the town of Virpur, the town worldly known for the saint Jalaram Bapa.
This visit was a part of AFS Rajkot Chapter activity, where the three students who are hosted in Rajkot this year (2011-12), viz Eleonora, Mona and Regina, were taken as part of social visit. This visit was organized by Ajay Mehta, Lecturer at P.D.M. college, Rajkot, who also happens to be the AFS Volunteer.
I have visited couple of old age homes prior to this, but this old age home differs from others by some of its unique characteristics, such as its very humane care-taker Mulubhai Dabhi, attach toilets, limited number of old people in one room, neat & clean ambiance(ground, kitchen, rooms, lobby), no strict rules for admission of old people, no strict in-house rules to be followed by the old people, feeling of healthy atmosphere all around and much more.
Mulubhai is the care-taker and trustee of this old age home. He is such an interesting and humanitarian persona. He is doing this out of his passion to do something for the needy. He is a financially capable person and now devoting his time in serving the old people. By nature, he is spiritual. He is a harmonium player too. During our meeting, he sang some of the very meaningful Bhajans (spiritual Gujarati songs), with explaining its meaning. He is a fine dedicated person and looking forward to strengthen and develop this old age home further & further. One of the many interesting things about him is that, he doesn’t ask for HELP or DONATION, rather he shows you everything with pure feeling and then it’s us who has to decide whether we want to / can help, and if yes, in what way. But yes, looking at the kind of fine management he is doing, I feel that this is the most right place if you really want to help in monetary way. Don’t go by my word. Visit the place and decide by yourself (address and contact number given at the end of this article).
This old age home has residents from different parts of India such as Rajkot, Kolkata, Jamshedpur, Nasik etc. and one resident is from London. We met the maximum number of residents we could meet. Each one of them has a different story to tell. Some are very tragic ones. Actually, most are tragic ones only, but few do really melt your heart. One of them I do still remember is of a old lady from London. She had two sons. In a car accident her both sons died. At that time, they were just eight and ten years old. After few years of this incident, her husband too died. This tore apart her life. She then couldn’t manage to live among her family members, as it constantly used to remember her about her dear sons. Then she decided to move to such a place where she knows no body, and thus she ended up reaching to his old age home.
I was surprised to meet one old lady of 75 years old, who lives in this old age home with her mother who is 96 years old! I mean, if you dig further in their story, you will come across some of the real and most sad stories you have ever heard in your life. Some were rejected by their son where as some have come to live here by choice.
The old person in the above photograph that you’re seeing shared a very funny story with me about an incident that happened during his trip to Haridwar, due to his excessive desire to smoke a Bidi. As it’s not allowed to smoke on railway-station, and as he is a chain smoker, he couldn’t get hold of it for a longer time and stepped down from the train to find for a cigarette. Fortunately, he was noticed by one of the old age home volunteer before the train started!
Ranbag, Nr. Khodiyar temple
Virpur. Dist. Rajkot
Contact person: Mulubhai Dabhi. Cell: +91 98793 24738