FORSAKEN BY THEIR FAMILIES, THEY NOW ENJOY THE PRIVILEGES WHICH MOST OF THE AVERAGE PEOPLE CAN’T AFFORD
There may be various old age homes and orphanages across the state but the Multi-Service Old Age Care Home Complex at Badal village upholds distinction with each and every inmate of this beautifully constructed complex being considered as the personal guest of the 91-year-old former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. “Forsaken by families almost every one of us would have cursed our fate but reaching here in this home away from home we forgot all our pains. It is not the food and shelter but the love and respect we get from the five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal here has healed our wounds and restored the self-esteem as well,” said a group of elderly people, who were enjoying music on FM radio while enjoying the Sunshine in lush green lawn of the complex. This complex is located just two kms from the Badals’ palatial house, on Gaggad road in Badal village, which not only entertains the elderly but also the children, who are either orphan or forsaken by parents. This home was inaugurated on November 18, 2005 by the then vice-president of India Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. It is run by the Chaudhary Devi Lal Memorial Trust under the chairmanship of Parkash Singh Badal. At present, there are seven elderly males and two females staying in the complex. There are nine children also who are registered with the management but currently not staying there.
These kids are enrolled with different schools in different cities of the state but their bond with Badal is so strong that right from their uniform and stationery to food and hostel, this complex management bears all of their expenses, just like parents. This widespread care home complex, having hundreds of fruit trees and flowery plants, is equipped with almost every facility the inmates require, including the medical assistance and laundry service, and that too absolutely free of cost. Besides the facilities of routine life, this home also makes everyone to inculcate a sense of discipline among them. If they are used to follow the tea and food timings timetable, they also visit the spic-and-span Gurdwara inside the old age home to participate in the morning and evening prayers every day. Speaking to Daily Post, a group of five elderly inmates, namely Joginder Singh Manna, Inder Singh, Sukhdev Singh of Pampura Phool and others, sounded to be content. “In the twilight of life, when family members threw us out of home, it was Parkash Singh Badal, who held our hands. Besides caring for the basic facilities, he brings lot many sweets for us, whenever comes to meet us,” they said in unison. Though the age factor was quite visible on their wrinkled faces, their eyes had extraordinary shine when they said, “We are the guests of Badal Sahib and this is the fact, which our family members also realise now.” Not only these elderly people, even the young children also carry the sense of pride for being the “family members” of senior Badal, as the complex in charge Col Dr Anand Swaroop Paul, who is also the principal of Badal-run Mata Jaswant Kaur School, says that he (Badal) is always concerned about their studies and well being. Interestingly, ask any of these “guests” if they need any help, they have standard one-line reply: “Why would we approach you, when Badal Sahib himself is there for us.”
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