Tahsin Hassan Bini
THE Division of Student Activates (DOSA) of Independent University, Bangladesh which arranges for various student-related activities, organised one of its admirable ventures in social work on 25th June. Students went to Savar Bank's Arunima SUBARTA TRUST Old Age Home. I joined the team as an ex-councilor of DOSA. We started at 8:30 from IUB with Kazi Faruque Ahmed , Senior Manager of DOSA. Every councilor and student donated as much as they could for the old age home.
There are two buildings in Arunima Old Home. When we entered one, we saw two old women seated outside their room. They were sitting silently. I went inside and saw two old men lying on the beds. Then I talked to a woman outside. I asked her if she had any family but she did not respond for a long time. Then she replied that she used to work in the theatre and that she had a part in Abdullah-al-Mamun's play. But she was very happy to be here for the reason that the old age home's staff takes good care of her. We then went to the other residence. The surroundings were much better here. We got to know that the residents pay their way. They have separate rooms and there is a TV in each room. I then talked to a woman. She told me that she has one daughter and one son who do not want her to stay with them and so brought her here. Occasionally they come to visit her to make the necessary payments on time.
The people who live in the old home have more or less the same story to tell. Why are we like this? If our parents were the souls who brought us up and showed us this beautiful world, then why are we doing this to them? Our parents could never see us unhappy and they stood by us through thick and thin, and yet, why do we keep our distance from them when they need us the most? Why do we think of them as a burden? Why can't we be their shoulder to rely on in their old age? Parents do so many things for their children but most of us repay them with ingratitude.
Everyone will be a parent one day. What will the future bring to those who leave their parents in old homes? Parents do not want their children's wealth; they only want their children's support and love. Today we are educated, we invent new technologies, we are getting modern day by day but we still have a lot to learn. Old home is a good organisation. But I think that only those people who have no close relatives can stay in old homes but those who have children should not be living here. Nowadays we tend to adopt western culture where old homes are a part of life, but we should not forget that this is not our culture.
People living in old homes live with a silent pain. They want their children to be happy. They have no needs and wants. They receive proper treatment, food and otherbasic necessities at Arinuma Old Home. The place has a beautiful environment. But they suffer silently for being away from their loved ones.
Before we left they said they were very pleased because we went there and they could share their feelings with us. Some recalled their grand children when they saw us. When we were coming back I was thinking that we only think about ourselves. If we do not stand beside our parents in their old age then no one will stand beside us during our bad times. We forget our past. We forget that we stand here today only because of our parents’ endless contribution. If we fail to realise this, then what is the benefit of formal education?
(The writer is BSS in Media and Communication, MDS candidate, IUB)