DEVGHAT: Lack of funds has hardly hit a Briddashram—-a home for superannuated people—-constructed by Devghat Area Development Committee (DADC) in Devghat. The Briddashram constructed some fourteen years ago has become a shelter for only 32 elderly though it could accommodate 51.
According to DADC acting director Chandradev Tiwari, the government has been providing Rs 9 lakhs although Rs 15 lakhs was needed. He said, “We can not accommodate many elderly persons as the budget is insufficient for the salaries of employees and foods and clothes for the elderly persons.” “Elderly persons could be kept in the home as per its capacity in case the government provided enough funds for it,” Tiwari said. The Briddashram has seven staffers for the upkeep and administrative works.
Elderly persons who do not have children to take care of them have been residing there. Most of the elderly from Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Birgunj and Baglung have been staying there. Employees at the Briddashram informed that 51 elderly persons used to live there when it got enough financial support.
Cook Suryabhakta Pandit, a cook, said the DADC has been providing them tea, breakfast and two square meals a day. Pandit also said that rise in the cost of food prices has aggravated the financial problems.
Meanwhile, Shubhadra Pudasaini, 72, a resident of Bhimphedi, Makawanpur revealed that she was compelled to come to the Ashram as her husband deserted her after second marriage. She, however, said that she was much happier there and her days were passing without difficulty and she was pleased getting new clothes for Dashain. While Tiwari said the elderly home used to give clothes twice a year but it has been distributing only once a year for the past few years.
Any Nepali above 65 years and who are without their near ones to take care of them can have free resident and food at the Briddashram. “However, elderly persons who are in a dire need of such service have been deprived due to lack of fund,” informed Tiwari.