Jogeshwari Day Care Centre

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Jogeshwari Day Care Centre

In a first-of-its-kind effort, Dignity Foundation established in March 2015 a full day care centre at Jogeshwari East in Mumbai for the holistic wellbeing of the elderly living in the poverty stricken locality. Operating the Centre for the second year in succession, Dignity Foundation is pleased to record the positive benefits accruing to its 350 strong who at varying points in time attend the centre.

The main donor – American Express and its employees – along with Give India have been exemplary donors in continuing their contributions to the poor elderly who are the centre members – but for a period of three years.

This project idea stemmed out of our realisation that the elderly in such localities are usually given a short shrift at home where they are the last in line members. In fact they are denied respect; they are cast aside as soon as they became “non-productive machines”. Dull and lifeless, they spend the day without communicating with anyone, not even among themselves and a majority of them were found to have such common afflictions and problems as failing health, poverty, isolation, neglect, abuse, fear, boredom and even physical injuries that had not been nursed to heal.

As a panacea to these ills, the Centre conducts activities as follows :

 Services for physical health ( diagnostic, preventive and curative)

 Individual and Group Counseling. ( Psycho/Social/Nutrition)

 Case Work ( handling of abuse and neglect)

 Midday Meals and Micro Nutrients ( to reduce malnutrition)

 Social and Cultural Activities (social connectedness)

For a second year in succession, the centre has gained popularity in the locality.

For general membership queries, please Whatsapp or call +919152017120 (Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm)

There has been a gradual rise in attendance each month, leading to an overall increase in the total number of members availing of the facility. The facility is utilised equally by male and female members in the community.

Improved nutritional status: Almost 60% of the members were falling under “poor” nutritional category. To address these issues nutritional supplements were introduced for all the members along with daily yoga and physical exercises. This has improved the nutritional status across all members. With proper nutrition elderly feel more energetic and healthier, enabling them to remain more active

Midday meals has brought members hunger down to zero: Earlier our elders kept themselves hungry as family would fail to feed them on time or give unsuitable appropriate cooked food at home. Today the situation has changed. Community is aware of our midday meals provided at the centre. We see 80 to 100 elders walking in with dignity take meals daily. Meals are planned by a food committee composed of members.

Care and support group has emerged as a core feature: With the objective of creating a caring and sharing support group, conscious efforts were put in by our professional Team of Social Worker and Administrator. Today we have some 350 members in the support group. Support is extended during illness, undertaking of outdoor tasks, for company and support against abuse. Emotional bonding is the resultant quotient.

Reduction in Abuse Cases due to Centre’s intervention: Through our intervened (in 65 to70 cases) the frequency and intensity of abuse and neglect have reduced.

Health care: During the year 1281 members received consultations from the general practitioner.

Health care Supporter Treatment Beneficiaries
Minor health issues Visiting GP Medicines were provided from centre 1280
Eye care Satya Sai Seva 110 Check up/ 27 members underwent cataract surgery /50 members got spectacles 110
Heart care Seven Hills Hospital conducted diagnostic camp 60 members examined for heart functions. 7 members under gone enjiography and one undergone bypass surgery. 60
Orthopedic care BMC Hospital Consultation /medicines 50
Lifestyle diseases Dignity Centre 5 Diagnostic camps /medicines 500

Schedule:

At 10 am the Centre opens for the day and shuts at 5 pm. In fact, participants queue up from 9.30 am onwards to rush in. While male members gorge into newspapers with a cupe of tea, the female members routinely get into a small worship at the entrance where an idol of Ganpati greets them as they come in. Then a slew of coordinated activities is started by the Social Worker-Coordinator Ms. Sunita Ahire. A health awareness talk at 11 am is followed by a demo of essential hygienic habits followed by yoga, lunch and a nap before closing the day out with some fun over chai. This typically includes light music, singing and dancing.

If anything is worth waiting for, it is this. It took Give India 12 months to get American Express to fund the project. But the outcome has been glorious for Dignity Foundation's mission of reaching out to the elderly poor in more than a substantial manner. In short it is a dream come true.

We offer our sincerest gratitude to American Express employees whose payroll contributions helped us sustained the activities month to month. The contribution of Give India in getting American Express on board is a notable achievement that Dignity Foundation is grateful for.

For many years, due to the paucity of funds we were unable to reach out to people who needed our help the most. After witnessing the enthusiastic response of the 100 beneficiaries, we ache to realize we have delayed our interventions too much. Jogeshwari houses one of the poorest slums of Asia, where the poverty levels are so high that literally any well designed social service project will find many takers.

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Social Worker-Coordinator Sunita Ahire :

Sunita Ahire Ms. Sunita Ahire manages the centre with her abundant social work experience. This is what she had to say about the Centre

"My lifetime dream comes true as I start my counseling work with members whom we have mobilized from the community in Jogeshwari. Even before I reach the centre there are some ten of them waiting for me! My heart swells seeing them. They come to me with life problems, I speak about health issues, family issues, money related problems, bahu related sticky issues and similar issues. I would say that all the members feel this is their home. It is their Mandir, home, playground and entertainment centre. "Somebody is there now to take care of me" is the unamious feeling that emerges. Their mutual bonding is something wonderful - and I have prior experience with it while working with battered women and children. But the wholesome joy I get out of working with innocent seniors simply steals my heart.

My dream is to make this centre a role model for all Day Centres for the elderly in the country."