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She brought light into our lives

Dignity volunteer A K Lakshmi came into our world about two and a half years ago. She has wrought visible changes (I ought to say magic) in my wife Jaya, aged 82. Jaya was experiencing some neurological old age problems which were efficiently treated by the highly experienced doctors at NIMHANS, Bengaluru. At that time we were looking for someone to help Jaya get back to normal life and it was then we both became members of Dignity Foundation. Very soon thereafter, Lakshmi came into our lives.

Lakshmi has been coming assiduously twice a week: Monday mornings to keep Jaya's mind active and healthy. Tuesday evenings to help her walk in the neighbourhood. Lakshmi provides Jaya with written quizzes, puzzles, arithmetic, plays scrabble and rummy etc to keep her brain alert and vibrant. The walk helps Jaya meet neighbours, friendly shopkeepers, apart from giving her exercise and a sense of self-confidence.

The result is now visible in the attached picture. Both Jaya and I (of course) look forward to Lakshmi's twice a week visits and she has now become a part of our family. This picture was taken by my daughter from Auroville who was visiting us recently.

I thought I ought to share this experience with the wider group of Dignity members and friends, as it reflects the good solid work that is being done.

Anand Kundaji, Bengaluru

Mrs. Modi has a son and daughter. Both her children are married. Her son stays with her. The son is doing a small-time job and does not earn much. However, the daughter-in-law is working in a big company and earns a sizeable salary. The family is dependent on the daughter- in-law’s income and she tends to behave very badly with Mrs. Modi. The situation has deteriorated so much so that Mrs. Modi has to get her daily cups of team from a street vendor. Mrs. Modi is also working part time to take care of her own expenses. She approached Dignity Foundation to get some help in getting some monthly amount from her son so that she can manage her livelihood. She was also keen to seek Dignity Foundation’s help to get the daughter–in- law to behave properly with her.

The social worker from Dignity Foundation met the son. He accepted to a certain extent that his wife was rude to his mother and expressed his inability to bring a balance between mother and wife. He also mentioned that they were providing food to his mother but due to the fight between the two women, his mother had stopped taking food from them. He also mentioned that they were concerned that the house that they lived in and belonged to his mother would be given away to his sister. This insecurity was also leading to frequent fights.

The social worker from Dignity also called the daughter-in-law. She was not willing to speak at all. She said that Dignity could go to police and court but she will fight it out. She was not willing to make any adjustments.

So the social worker spoke to the son again and explained to him that the house belongs to his mother and that it will go to him automatically as his sister was married. They should not feel so insecure. He said that he understands that but is unable to explain it to his wife. Dignity told him to give some monthly expenses to mother. He said that he will get back as his income was really small.

After a couple of day Mrs. Modi called to say that her son gave her Rs.3,000 and will continue to do so every month. She was very happy with this support from her son. She said that she has also seen improvement in his behavior towards her. When his wife is not around, he spends time with her. She was very happy with this intervention from Dignity Foundation.