By Thomas Whitworth –
On 27th of February, teams from Maitri’s head office and the Breast Cancer Patients Benefit Foundation (BCPBF) partnered to conduct a health camp for the widows of Maitri Ghar in Radha Kund. The place has recently had extensive work done, and the construction has created a safe and clean home. The Maitri staff arrived to the smiling and singing faces of several dozen widows.
While they waited for medical professionals to arrive, Maitri’s staff played music with the widow mothers and watched as they sang, danced, and enjoyed themselves. Without knowing, you would not think these kind and fun-loving women had experienced terrible hardship throughout their lives. Before long, the doctors arrived and set to work.
The recently finished top floor was turned into a makeshift hospital, with a fully staffed medical wing available to the widow mothers. A general physician, gynecologist, eye specialist, dentist and oncologist all contributed their talents to help screen the women. Widows were escorted from to room to discuss problems; many had multiple ailments and had to visit several doctors.
More and more widowed mothers filed into Maitri Ghar over the day, seeking help for their health issues. They came all from all ages, from the troubled younger women to the most senior widows in their nineties. Regardless of their age or their concern, BCPBF and Maitri were there to help.
Often, the health issues arose due to widows neglecting to take care of themselves. Ignoring aches, sores, or pains until they had grown more severe was a common problem. Also common were women whose eyesight had worsened over the years, as evidence through eye tests. Some were even referred for cataract assessment and surgery.
Most serious were those widows who, after years of chewing tobacco, had harshly damaged their gums. The dentist identified a few who, due to these poor dental hygiene habits, were at risk for mouth cancer. Others would need to have teeth pulled due to the damage.
By the end of the health camp, more than 110 widows had screenings and consultations with the doctors. Medicine was supplied to those who needed it. Those with serious health concerns were referred to the appropriate services, and will receive further treatment to address those problems.
After the health camp had finished, lunch was provided and enjoyed by everyone in the home. Maitri makes sure to provide these widows nutritious meals as many of the women suffer from malnutrition. The widows were able to leave Maitri Ghar less hungry, much happier, and more confident in their health than when they arrived.
In just a few hours, the medical professionals had doled out helpful advice, medicine, and support for more than a hundred women in need. Every single widow was incredibly kind and gracious to both Maitri staff and doctors, clearly appreciative of the time and work invested in their wellbeing.
After leaving Radha Kund, the Maitri team went to the second old age home for widows in Vrindavan. There, another group of widows welcomed them, just as warm and delightful as the ones they had just visited. After years of grief and sorrow, these amazing women have places where they are surrounded by a supportive community in both Radha Kund and Vrindavan, where their ailments are treated, they are taken care of, and they can finally live in peace.
If you’d like to support the old age home for widows and all the other support Maitri provides, please follow this link: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/old-age-home-for-abandoned-elderly-women-in-india/