Sixty elderly inmates of the Pope Paul Mercy Home, Nanjanad, Ooty, were at the LLA Campus on October 01, (declared as ‘International day of Older Persons’ by the United Nations). The atmosphere at LLA was transformed when the three buses carrying them rolled into the LLA campus. One look at that sight and Iqbal exclaimed, “It feels like happiness is coming towards me”.
It all started when Rotarian Dr. V. Balasubramaniam, Director of S M Hospital Ooty casually mentioned to Iqbal Mohamed and Anuradha Iqbal that Rotary Nilgiris West was planning to carry out some service activities at Mercy Home on October 01. Curiosity aroused, they immediately decided to visit the Home and see for themselves how it was being run. Since the inmates rarely stepped out of the Home, Mrs. Anuradha Iqbal wondered how it would be, if the inmates, the staff and the Rotarians were to spend the day at LLA instead. Dr. Bala and Sister Mercy Angel thought that it was a wonderful idea.
What a day it turned out to be! Students vying with each other to serve the elders to the best of their abilities… Guiding them, serving them tea and food personally, taking care to see that they were comfortable and generally ensuring that they all had a good time. What was it that inspired them?
After Tea and a slide show by Iqbal, the guests were treated to a typical South Indian lunch. This was followed by fun and games before the guests left back for their Home in the evening. Can you believe that at the Memory game where we had 15 different items on display one elderly lady without sight remembered all 15 of them just on the basis of listening to the names of the 15 items displayed? Mindboggling stuff!
When we surprised the guests by offering them sugar candy made on the spot, they were thrilled to bits. One of the guests said so beautifully that this took him back to his own childhood days. Sure enough, most of them forgot their age and gleefully queued up for second and third helpings of the candy. Endearing moments…poignant and priceless!
Extremely happy and satisfied with the way things panned out through the day, Dr. Balasubramaniam said, “This day surpassed our expectations. The people who came in here had the time of their lives”.
Sister Mercy Angel, Superior, said that LLA was a really beautiful place and that they enjoyed the day here. She added that she experienced a lot of love here and was happy that they could come over.
Life at LLA is not just about studying light to get the right picture. It is also about celebrating life and it’s myriad hues.
“I was so happy and moved when I received copious blessings from the elders! I realised that it is only when you give happiness to others will you be able to overcome your own problems. The experience put a smile on my face and it stuck. I will ensure that I will now go to the Home often, to meet the new friends I have made.”
– Anush, Student
“This was a godsent opportunity for me to let go of my own inhibitions and reach out to people. I was simply excited at getting the chance to also personally serve lunch to the guests. I realised how much we take life, for granted. I hope I put my life to good use.”
– Arun, student
“My experience with the elders that day brought back memories of the time when my own father was bedridden and physically dependent on others at the house. I have resolved that come what may, I shall always take care of my Mother well and ensure that she is healthy and happy.”
– Imran, Student