Poverty is one of the key impediments to development in general but becomes more critical for older people. The problem is more acute in the case of people who are already in poverty particularly in the rural areas. Navajyothi provides care to the old aged. In attaining this, Navajyothi implements four of the following programmes:
Navajyothi takes up advocacy and awareness programmes on rights on Elderly Right among its operational area. Awareness programmes are conducted in the villages to look after their elderly people with honor and respect. Advocacy programmes are taken up with the departmental heads like Police, Mandal office, and Mandal revenue offices. With these local political leaders, Sarpanches (Elected head of village local governance body) of villages, MPPs and MLA of the constituencies are involved in advocacy programmes to solve the problems of the elderly.
In order to meet the demands of older destitute poor Navajyothi has adopted 145 elderly people from 15 villages from the three mandals of Mirdoddy, Varadavelli and Mustabad. Monthly they are provided rice, dal, sugar, salt, tea powder and oil sufficient for three meals a day at a cost of Rs. 350 for each grand parent. During the festivals, moong dal, vermicelli, coconut oil and other special items are provided to celebrate.
In addition to all these older people were given bed sheets, carpets, plates, glasses and clothing to satisfy their needs. In addition to these, medical checkups were organized and based on their recommendations multivitamin tablets and medicines for common ailments like cold, cough, body pain, fever and joint pains tablets were provided to poor elderly people.
In October, Elders Day was celebrated by Help-Age India and a few of the elderly participated and enjoyed the event. Few elders were honored by the Chief Guest, and celebrations of the Elderly Day and elderly people participated in singing and dancing which is a marvelous opportunity for the elderly to have a rare get together. Navajyothi is running this programes from 18 years.
Apart from awareness, advocacy and adoption of a grandparent programmes, Navajyothi is looking to provide income generation for the elderly. In this programme they and the family members are involved and are trained on modern ways of rearing milch animals. This year 20 elderly people were given loans involving their family members to purchase milch animals. Income from these milch animals help families support the elderly. These animals were also insured.
IG activity is taken up in 13 villages. Up to now 160 familes with old aged persons are supported with 160 milch animals with a cost of 8.25 lacks for their betterment. Another 55 families with old age persons were supported for setting up petty business like hotel, small shops etc., with an expenditure of Rs. 2.75 lakhs to involve the family members and ensuring that the old aged are looked after and cared for. The elderly were also formed into Self Help Groups and regular meetings were organized where these elderly practice savings and share various issues.
In many villages, drinking water scarcity is affecting the older people. Navajyothi is providing water to satisfy their minimum requirements. The people have to walk 1 to 2 kilometers to get water from agriculture wells. Help age India –LDSC, USA supported digging of 13 bore wells and constructed 13 water tanks in 13 villages with a cost of Rs 10.4 lakhs. This programme is very useful in providing sufficient water for the elderly and saving the hard work of fetching water from distant sources. After digging these bore wells and construction of tanks the maintenance is taken up by community contributions and participation.