In times when even old age homes come with a community tag, here is one geriatric facility that houses inmates of different faiths. To put it in simple words, caste, creed, or religion does not matter for an old person to stay here, free of cost.
In a nondescript building on the premises of Masjid-e-Mohammadia near Aramghar crossroads, situated beside the PVNR expressway connecting the Hyderabad airport, is the old age home run by Helping Hand Foundation.
The two-storeyed building was constructed for a school, though the operations never took off. Then, it was used as an isolation ward for COVID patients. However, once the patients reduced and with the third wave in the offing, the building was shut down for a few days. Later, it was reopened as an old age home in January.
At present, the building houses 18 men and 21 women, who share 11 rooms. Five of them are visually impaired, and ten are bedridden. Four of the inmates who were bedridden have already started walking, adds Mohammed Fareedullah or Fareed, who manages the place.
All the inmates have had complex issues at home and would not like to go home or have no home to go to. But the place offers facilities like a seasoned and well-funded old age home. The center is visited by a physician and physiotherapist, and it has full-time nurses, bedside assistants, housekeeping staff, and even an in-house pharmacy. A dentist also visits the place every Friday, and a psychiatrist makes a visit on alternate weeks.
Mujtaba Hasan Askari of the Helping Hand Foundation shares that the old age home is a platform to show that humanity binds all human beings. He adds that the environment is positive and stress-free, where love and respect are given to inmates irrespective of their caste, creed, and religion. In times when there is increasing polarization in the country, Aksari says they wanted to start a place that was open for all and where there are no inhibitions.