Home And Aged
TARA – Home for the Aged @ Bangalore
Most of us think that we can think of old age when we get closer to that stage! Despite India having a large number of people who are in their youth, it would be prudent to remember that eventually all of them would get old.
Indians has always prided about the fact that we take care of our elders. While that is that is the case with a majority of them, there are a large number of them who are left to deal with themselves. It gets challenging as the health deteriorates and so does the mind, which is left alone to fight the vagaries of life- all by itself.
We Freemasons thought of all this and thus the idea of TARA was born. It was not born now but 45 years back when the idea of old age homes was in its infancy in the West. Supported by the Bangalore Freemasons' Society, TARA has made rapid strides since the time of inception. Old age is a period in your life when your hunger for love, peace and happiness outpaces hunger for food, physical comforts and materialistic pleasures. TARA was built by Freemasons not just as a place to house senior citizens but to bring sunshine in their lives.
Freemasons of India relentlessly worked for three years, building an edifice brick by brick, filled with love and harmony. Tara Rau, a noble soul donated land and sparked off the dreams of Freemasons into reality. On the 13th of October 2006, TARA was born.
From then on, as on 2014, it has 20 residents out of which 14 are men and 5 are women. These residents are provided toothpaste, tooth brushes, towels, food and medical services at a cost of Rs 500 per month. A doctor visits them every Thursday to check on their condition and also to keep them in their spirits. We want to make it clear that there is no deposit and if there are any medical expenses that are on the higher side, we reach out through our Brethren and get it reimbursed.
To soothe their souls, bhajans, yoga classes, religious discourses and such activities are conducted regularly, which has been met with much enthusiasm. Also, every room houses two residents, with attached bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen with a staff to provide healthy and homely food, a dining area, a recreation room with television and a meditation room.
As audited in our 2014 Annual Report, a total amount of Rs 12,84,501 was collected as 'daily sponsorships' for the maintenance, running and upkeep of TARA during the year. Additionally, a corpus donation of Rs 10,000 was received as sundry donation aggregating to Rs. 108, 702. Further, medical assistance amounting to a sum of Rs. 71,935 has been expanded this financial year.
Further, by our estimation running costs including water, food, electricity, laundry, staff salaries runs at around Rs. 3500 per day. You can be a part of it by contributing to a day's expense or multiples thereof and choose the day of the year which could be special to you. The sponsor's name for that day will be displayed on the premises.
As an alternative, one can contribute a lump sum, which will go into maintenance and improvement of the infrastructure. More than anything, one can be involved by making regular visits- especially on festival days, birthdays of residents etc., all of which can make that crucial difference from a 'house to a 'home' for the aged.
It is very clear to all who visit an old age home that, all the inmates are there, not for the love of being away from home and independent but, because there is no better alternative left for them.
Freemasons who have given their wholehearted support and have nurtured this dream includes Chairmam M.W.Bro Arun Chintopanth, Secretary R.W.Bro. N.N. Gupta, Treasurer W.Bro. T.V. Raghavendran, amongst a list of 548 Brethren, all need to be commended and supported for taking this further beyond as the list of aged people is growing with every passing day. Freemasons have made a difference in every aspect of humanity all over the world. It will be no exception in this case too.
By Bro. Venkatesh Ganesh