Elderly underfed, neglected at Pashupati old age home

Kathmandu, September 17

The elderly home at Pashupati does not even have the basic facilities envisioned by the Elderly Home Operation Internal Procedures issued by the government.

The scene at the elderly home gets chaotic when a large number of elderly people sit on benches for dinner. The obnoxious smell from a toilet, which is just five metres away from the shelter’s kitchen, keeps pervading the air as it is seldom cleaned.

The meal consists of dal and rice with little or no vegetables. At 4:00 in the evening, this is the last food they receive since having lunch at 9:00am.

Elderly people living in the age old home said they were rarely served vegetables.

MT Traders has won the Rs 11.5 million contract to provide two-time meal with five items — dal, rice, vegetables, pickle and milk or curd — to the elderly living in the shelter for a year.

Tej Krishna Khitchju of MT Traders could not be reached for comment despite several attempts. The morning lunch, however, is provided by generous donors.

Sannani Timilsina, 87, who has been taking shelter at the elderly home for the last 22 years said, “Morning meal is provided by donors and contains dal, rice and curry with pickle and dairy products. But the evening meal is normally very basic.”

The building, which houses the elderly, is also in a bad condition. The dark and gloomy bedrooms are often seen lacking clean bed-sheets and warm blankets.

The disabled section of the elderly home is a narrow and damp room for 40 elders, who need a constant medical attention. But, with no doctor or health consultant available, the elderly depend on a health assistant deployed by the government.

President of Pashupati Marwadi Service Union Subash Goyal, who has been feeding the elderly every Saturday said, “The elderly home does not provide proper food. Moreover, there is no one to take care of the elderly at night. Apart from that the toilets are not close by and this is a real problem here.”

Chief Executive of the elderly home Manoj Kumar Basnet said he was satisfied with the service being offered to the elderly. “I haven’t heard any elderly saying s/he didn’t get food or medicine,” he said. Basnet, however, admitted that the elderly home lacks proper building.