Moms in old age homes recall fond memories with kids

Far away from the comforts of a home and the sheltering arms of their loved ones, a group of mothers now housed in an old age home here, emotionally recalled the joys and pleasures of motherhood on the eve of Mother`s Day.

They expressed mixed emotions when they find all their fond memories to be in stark contrast to the neglect and abandonment they face now.

"I looked after my family my entire life, but became useless for my children once I became old. They used to get irritated, so staying here is better than staying at home," Agnes, a resident of an old age home in Kolkata, told IANS.

For four years, Agnes has been residing here after her son refused to shoulder her responsibility. Surrounded by gardens and looked after by attendants, she continues to lead her life with the company of fellow inmates - her only friends now.

Violet Ghosh, another inmate of the old age home, opted to shift out of her house to help her only daughter stay financially sound.

"We brought up our children with so much care. But once we become old, they denied to take up responsibility," Ghosh told.

She added that her husband passed away when her daughter was seven months old and was very difficult for her (Ghosh) to raise her.

"After her marriage, I stayed with her for two years. Owing to her family problems and financial problems, I told her to send me to an old age home," said Ghosh.

While Ghosh finds it difficult to be a part of the Mother`s Day celebrations, Agnes says that she enjoys it. "It gives us immense joy, it acts as a reward for us," said Agnes.

Ghosh, however, said: "I struggled so much to bring up my daughter. This struggle is the real celebration of motherhood. So, just a day`s celebration in the name of Mother`s Day does not hold any special meaning for me."

A psychology professor at Bethune College, Nilanjana Bagchi, feels that an old age home is a better option than being a burden and staying at home.

"Firstly, an old age home will give them social support. Secondly, it gives them physical security by clinical intervention, doctors," said Bagchi.

Bagchi added that everybody has to cross this age. "...if you treat your parents like this, then you will also receive the same treatment from your children," she said.

Mother`s Day is celebrated in India annually on the second Sunday of May.

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