Ahmedabad: The owner of ‘Sudama Old Age Home’, Asha Ben Rajpurohit shares her experiences from the time of pandemic. In May 2020, Asha’s father, Kantilal Rajpurohit urgently called her and asked her to immediately come to their house. She did not bring her 12-year-old boy along with her due to the severity of the pandemic. The only vehicle she could find during the lockdown was a vegetable carriage. She took a ride in that vehicle and somehow reached her parents’ home. 

A conversation with the father

During a conversation with her father, Kantilal expressed his concern about who would take over the old age home in his absence. This was a serious concern for the father as he had devoted years of his life to the service of people. Without any second thoughts, Asha assured him by saying that she will take on the responsibility of looking after the old age home after him. A promise she had made imprudently resulted in one of the best decisions of her life. Since that day, Asha has been running the old age home on her own. 

The responsibility

Kantilal Rajpurohit laid the foundation of the old age home some 14 years ago. He had passed away during the pandemic. After the demise of her father, Asha faced questions from neighbours and relatives about who would continue the responsibility, Asha was resolute and did not hesitate to declare her commitment to carry on her father’s work. 

Asha faced resistance from her in-laws as they did not like the idea of Asha getting involved in her father’s work. Her in-laws were so unsupportive, that they did not allow her son to visit her. Looking at the dissonance at home, Asha’s son moved in with his uncle’s family. 

The problems

People doubted Asha’s capabilities and discouraged her from continuing with her father’s noble work. Asha faced criticism and negative feedback from others who believed she had made a wrong choice due to her age and gender. Despite all this, Asha remained unwavering in her determination to continue the legacy of her father and to take care of her father’s care facility for the elderly. Now, after successfully operating the old age home of three years, Asha receives praise from the community.

She personally finds fulfilment in the environment of an old age home. Recently, the local MLA even pledged to provide land for Asha to build a dedicated old age home, as the current one is situated in a rented house. 

Love from people

Asha’s endeavours posed serious difficulties in the beginning, but she came out strong from all the adversities. Presently, her facility provides care for 22 elderly individuals, a significant increase from the earlier years when Kantilal Rajpurohit managed the old age home for a decade with 10 to 14 senior citizens. 

Today, Asha receives help from her neighbours and operates the facility with assistance from the community. Over time, the facility has gained recognition in the nearby areas. People gather at the ashram and make frequent visits to celebrate special occasions like birthdays.

Asha has successfully carried her father’s responsibility. She takes care of various tasks like cooking, cleaning, feeding the seniors and managing their medications. She is dedicated to her service and maintains the wellbeing of the senior residents.