This Mathura shel­ter is a bea­con of hope for des­ti­tute el­derly men

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Am­bika.Pan­dit

Mathura/Vrin­da­van: In a dor­mi­tory with space for around 10 peo­ple, 73-year-old Kr­ishna Agar­wal sits on his bed by a win­dow. By and by, he opens up on his life’s jour­ney, re­mem­ber­ing his wife who is no more. He says how she was a source of strength af­ter his small photo-frame shop shut down due to fi­nan­cial losses.

Af­ter his wife died in 2015, Kr­ishna strug­gled even more with age and lone­li­ness. With no one to care of him, a rel­a­tive led him to a gov­ern­men­trun old-age home, the only one with ded­i­cated space for sin­gle men in Mathura. That was over a month back. To­day, he is re­lieved to be in a place where he finds dig­nity.

They may be fewer com­pared to women left to the care of Mathura and Vrin­da­van’s “widow homes”, but an in­creas­ing num­ber of el­derly men are reach­ing this shel­ter — ei­ther on their own or brought by rel­a­tives no longer will­ing to care for them.

Many res­i­dents are wid­ow­ers or were aban­doned by their fam­i­lies

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