SUPPORT A GRAN
There are thousands of destitute elderlies who do not even have access to two square meals and the means to meet their basic needs. One of the oldest programs of BaniMandir is to support these destitute elderly persons. Monthly rations of wheat, rice, pulses, cooking oil and basic spices are provided along with daily use items such as detergent, soap, clothing to them and as well as some pocket money is provided to elderlies in need. Under this program monetary support is often given to needy elderlies living in old age homes.
Bani Mandir runs a monthly donation programme for food and nutrition for the hapless aged men and women. These aged people walk 3 – 5 K.M on foot and eagerly wait for their turn. They are in the age-cohort of 60 – 85 years. When go back they don’t glitter like gold rather they move with anxiety whether they will get the next ration on time. Did they imagine such a life when they were young? Certainly not.
Funded by Helpage India (HI), the project ASTITVA implemented by Bani Mandir in its operational area, completed its duration in the reporting year. The coverage of the project is furnished in the table below :-
|District||South 24 Parganas|
|Block||Diamond Harbour – II|
|No. of Gram Panchayats covered||04|
|No. of villages covered||15|
|No. of Elderly Self-Help Groups (ESHGs) formed||Male Groups||23|
|Formation of Village Level Federation||05 (V.L.F)|
|Formation of District Level Federation||01 (Khordanahala Agrani Bayaska Sangha)|
It is note-worthy that besides 50 ESHGs of the concerned project, Bani Mandir promoted 28 old ESHGs outside the coverage of the project ASTITVA. All the 78 ESHGs are covering 26 villages.
During the year under review, the programme activities carried on by the project ASTITVA were as under :
- Savings :Old is not obsolete. If properly motivated, the elderly persons from low income-group families can save even a little amount from their family incomes.
In the project ASTITVA, the amount of savings done by the ESHG members in a collective way was figured to Rs. 1,99,470.00 in the year 2016-17.
- Utilization of Group Savings & other sources for loans :
In 2016-17, the total amount utilized for loans to ESHG members was Rs. 27,33,650.00 Besides the group savings, the loan fund was enriched with the financial support from 02 other sources, namely :–
- Livelihood support amounting 5,00,000.00 INR from Helpage India
- Cash Credit (CC) Linkage with bank amounting 19,04,000.00 INR(On rolling basis).
Cash-Credit Linkage : A total of 32 ESHGs established CC linkage with 02 banks, namely –
- Bangiya Gramin Bikash Bank, Roychak Branch which supported with loans to 19 ESHGs. Initially, the bank gave loan amounting to 1,25,000.00 INR per group. From March 2017, it increased the loan amount to 10 ESHGs that first established linkage with the bank. Each of these groups received loan amounting to Rs. 2,00,000.00
- Punjab National Bank, Dhukrijhara Branch gave loans to 13 ESHGs, each amounting 25,000.00 INR
Very recently the said Branch Manager has agreed to enhance the loans amount to 50,000.00 INR each group instead of 25,000.00 INR
Purposes of loans : In the year 2016-17, 184 elderly members utilized the loans for the following purposes :-
|Small Business viz. Vegetable vender, Fish vender, Tea stall, Poultry, Tailoring etc.||31|
|Mobile Repairing Shop||01|
|Loans taken by some families for emergency reasons:|
|Purchase of cultivation land||02|
Bani Mandir can’t solve the problems of all the hapless aged persons. But it can bring comfort to some aged persons living in abysmal darkness of life, by organizing an Old Age Home in its campus. It has sound infrastructure facilities to run the Home for both genders. Besides buildings and related facilities, it maintains a green lawn, flower garden, Shiva Temple, prayer hall, community hall, etc.
Being a Non-government Organisation (NGO), we have resource constraint. To run the Home what we need is the financial support from benevolent individuals, corporate houses and other development agencies. We do appeal to them to come forward and enable us to reach the goal.
The organizers have voluntary Zeal and dedication to serve the aged inmates with great care so that they can feel it a sweet Home. Do you think it for the aged ‘paradise regained’?