When I set out to start Samvedna in early 2013, honestly, I had a hazy picture of what I wanted to do. The only thing that was clear to me was to make a difference in the lives of seniors, break the mundane routine and do something about their loneliness and social isolation. The idea of an activity centre, a platform for seniors to socialize and also channelize their energy in a positive way, was thus born. Soon we realized that a lot of seniors cannot come to the centre because of mobility issues, hence the home services were developed.
In the dusk of their life, an alarming number of India’s ninety one million sixty-plus population experiences loneliness, neglect, depression, physical and mental abuse and a plethora of diseases, without proper medical care. Many seniors by this time have lost their spouse. Their social circle of friends and relatives also becomes smaller due to people succumbing to age or disease. In addition the elderly have different healthcare requirements. They often suffer from multiple and chronic diseases and need long-term and constant care, according to the National Programme for Health Care for the Elderly (NPHCE) report. But medication is not their only need – the elderly need emotional support, counselling and often, legal support.