"We make them cry, who care for us. We cry for those, who never care for us."
Today, India is home to approximately 100 million senior citizens. We boast of our golden past and rich heritage, where the elderly were respected for their wisdom & experience and were given high reverence & priority by the Society, but now times have changed. The elderly today feel unloved and neglected at this phase of their life.
Those belonging to the affluent strata of the society can afford to live comfortably along with their caretakers. However, a large section of our society belonging to a financially weaker strata are forced to live at unrecognized and cheap old age homes with minimum care given to basic necessities.
The poor financial condition, lack of affordable health care and the general neglect by society propelled Lion members from Lions Clubs International District 318 A to step in and start a senior citizen welfare program that advocates senior citizen friendly policies. Understanding the need of such geriatric homes, Lion members of District 318 A built the 'Lions Bhavan’ in the year 2005.
The Lions Bhavan is an initiative by Lions Clubs International District 318 A along with Lions Foundation Kerela. It was established with the motto of serving the elderly in our society.
The Lions Bhavan provides the following services:-
1. Medical clinic operating twice a week and medicines donated by Lion members are distributed free of charge to the residents and senior citizens living within 10 KM.
2. Medical Laboratory operating twice a week which is used by residents and senior citizens residing within a radius of 10 KM offered free of cost.
3. ‘Sneha Sadanam’, a home for dementia patients housing 15 residents, works in association with with ARDSI (Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India) to provide round the clock services to take care of the patients.
4. Vocational Training Centers for 20 autistic children in association with Lioness Krishnammal Ratnaswamy Vocational Training Centre, which are functional twice a week.
5. Free medical camps and distribution of medicines, once in three months; benefiting around 300 people per camp.
Around 200 Lion members from Lions Clubs International District 318-A have contributed whole- heartedly in establishing Lions Bhavan. Lions Foundation Kerala looks after the administrative set- up.
Chief Ministers, Ministers, Assembly Speakers, Senior Government Officials and other Social Leaders, have visited Lions Bhavan on various occasions. Recently, Second International Vice President, Lion Naresh Aggarwal visited Lions Bhavan and spoke highly about the good work being carried out and keeping the spirit of Lionism alive.
The aim for the future is to provide better services to the residents with installation of modern kitchen, medically equipped beds, water beds etc. They also intend to increase medical facilities by appointing doctors from all fields such as Allopathy, Ayurveda, and Homeopathy amongst others and also by providing latest machines and equipment to the laboratory.
This project is a ray of hope for the seniors in our community. Apart from Lion members, the citizens of Trivandrum City have also come forward to volunteer at Lions Bhavan. With increasing number of senior citizens looking for Old Age homes, projects like Lions Bhavan are the need of the hour.