No Father’s Day at Pokhara old age home

Pokhara, August 21

Prem Bahadur KC, 79, of Ghachowk in Machhapuchchhre Rural Municipality has been staying at an old age home in Pokhara for the past four years. A father of three sons and two daughters, KC could not wait to see his children visiting him with sweets and gifts on this year’s Father’s Day today. To his despair, none of them came to see him.

There are currently a total of 68 senior citizens taking shelter at the home for elderly people in Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City. Of them, 37 are women while 31 are men.

“I came here after my children neglected me. My daughters have settled down after marriage while my sons did not look after me after I handed over all my property to them. My children did not come to see me today, but I am happy that some other people visited me,” said KC. Like KC, other elderly people taking refuge at the home had a similar tale to tell. “Till I could work, I toiled hard for the sake of family, but now I am alone when I need my family’s support the most,” said Man Bahadur Tamang.

The head of the old age home, Tika Bahadur Bhandari said many people and organisations visit the centre on different occasions such as festivals and birthdays, and offer sweets and other food items, clothes and cash to the elderly people. Some of them even reached the facility to celebrate Teej festival with the senior citizens.

Abandoned people from different classes and various backgrounds are brought to this centre. “Even parents of well educated persons, including those who are doctors, engineers, law practitioners, among others, come to take shelter here,” said Karki.

The elderly people come from 15 districts. They spend their time here, offering prayers  and engaging themselves in devotional songs. The facility, established in 1997, has provided shelter to as many as 153 people so far. It has three cemented buildings now.

The government provided Rs 1.5 million to the old age home last year and has allocated Rs1 million for it this year, said Bhandari, adding that the facility has an annual operation cost of Rs 4 million.