With Your Help, 500 Elderly Ajjas and Ajjis Can Get Access To | Milaap

With Your Help, 500 Elderly Ajjas and Ajjis Can Get Access To Hot Meals, Essentials And Tender Loving Care

Loneliness is one thing, but helplessness is another. The elderly are forced to accommodate both these aspects, as they strive to live the rest of their lives in peace. Unfortunately, it is often an uphill battle that mostly revolves around hunger and pain.
After being abandoned by their children and loved ones, many elderlies are forced to survive in ghastly living conditions. Some elderlies can’t even get up from their beds, are paralyzed, and even go without food for more than 4 days in a row. When discovered, they are found in terrible conditions,” says Deepankar Patil, who dedicated his life to serving society after quitting his job as a graphic designer.

29-year-old Deepankar founded the Art of Helping Foundation in 2018 with the sole aim of feeding and caring for elderly gentlemen and ladies in Pune, who have no one else to care for them. He has delivered more than 20,000 free meals till date and currently, he has been providing regular tiffin service to 55 elderlies. People who can’t even get up from bed are provided with two tiffin meals a day.

“When I first visited an Ajji to assess her situation, I observed that the door opened right where her bed was. Her room was similar to that of a bathroom. This is not an isolated case - most of them live in such small spaces, with no one to ask about their well-being. When the going gets too tough, they even contemplate suicide.” - Deepankar.

Ask him why he wants to create a change in society and their attitudes towards the elderly population, and Deepankar narrates his own story. “I grew up in poverty after losing my father at a young age. My mother raised me and my elder sister all on her own. We often went to bed hungry and famished - I didn't want anyone to go through that ever again. This is the philosophy behind the Foundation,” he adds.  

The Art of Helping Foundation aims to cater free tiffin and groceries to 500 elderlies in the near future. They want to prioritize high-risk elderlies who are either paralyzed, blind, disabled, and/or over the age of 80, and/or are not able to cook their food due to illness.

“My team of five not only provides food to these elderlies, but they are also given medicines for specific illnesses, and blankets to keep them warm. In addition, we also clean their houses, and cater to needs to the best of our ability. We treat them like our own grandparents.” - Deepankar.

Deepankar is also planning to adopt elderly people and shift them to a home dedicated to their care in 2023, so that they can spend the remaining years of their life in peace. But he cannot do it alone - he needs your support to make sure that no one is denied a dignified existence just because they have surpassed youth and cannot fend for themselves.

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