These Rotaractors decided to ditch the DJ party to welcome their freshers to do “something more responsible which will help our new members understand the values of Rotary and Rotaract,” says Aneri Bhat, a member of Rotaract Club of Ahmedabad Narol, D 3054. So along with the new members, Kaushal Gohil, the Club President, visited Jeevandhara Vrudhashram, a home for the aged.
A day away from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, these youngsters did some “real socialising,” says Gohil, adding that “elderly people can feel cut off from society. So, we decided to bring the outside world inside and add some joy and excitement to their day.”
At a loss of words to express the joy she felt when the inmates of the old-age home warmly welcomed the Rotaractors, Aneri says “many of them, we were told, have made this their home as they were forced by their children to leave their homes. But they forgot about their worries and embraced us with so much love. We were all in tears.”
The Rotaractors organised a day full of fun, games, music, poetry, and “Garba! Young or old garba toh karna hi tha!” she adds. At the end of the competition the inmates were asked to give out certificates to the new members which they did with so much joy.
“You have to see them as regular people, not as the elderly. That is where we all go wrong. They aren’t a burden when we accept them as our equal,” says Gohil adding that what he learnt during that one day was something he wouldn’t have got to learn in any college or university.
“You offer them a cup of coffee and they’ll tell you their life story,” says another club member. A few of the members have decided to meet the inmates more regularly. “Maybe we can’t fix their bad knee, but we can make their living environment warm, funny and happy,” says Aneri.