We live in a cocoon spun with the threads of relations, convinced that it will nurture and support us through life. Our near and dear will take care of us as we grow older, and when the time comes, they will walk us through our last journey, giving us a fond farewell as they grieve our loss. We thrive in the knowledge that we belong.
And then, one day, we don’t.
Our near and dear one(s) take us to paths unknown and sneak away. For some of us, along with the family, we have lost the ability to think, to remember, to function.
SHEOWS reaches out to the abandoned among us, and gives them Dignity. The rescued people are bathed, fed, cleaned and housed at one of three ashrams where they also receive medical attention, counseling, legal counsel and most importantly, respect. When the time comes, the people are bid an honorable farewell, observing all rites and rituals of the faith the person followed as they lived.
SHEOWS is home to more than 500 people. Over the years they have rescued over 6,000 people and rehabilitated at least a third of them. It could only happen to the most dysfunctional of families, with no extended community support, we would believe. The reality is that the grandson of the Great Mahatma Gandhi ended up at SHEOWS.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, the demand has grown manifold. To help sustain the tremendous effort, and to increase its outreach, the Long Island community in New York gathered at Antun’s in Hicksville to garner support for this worthy, noble undertaking.
The evening was facilitated by the very melodious and eloquent Gita Setia. SHEOWS is not very well known on Long Island. The team led by Mohan Wanchoo, supported by Drs. Nitin & Leena Doshi, Kamlesh Mehta and Abbas Baqueri, who described the intervention as the work of God and a miracle, gave the gathering an insight into their own experience with the organization.
Saurabh Bhagat, whose grandfather started the initiative, presented details of the work done by the organization. He described the relentless efforts made to drive out to the nooks and crannies of Delhi to rescue the old people in need. Most are in poor health, some with living magots crawling in them, others with dementia and Alzheimer’s, all hungry and left to battle the elements. He talked about SHEOWS’ journey across three generations, and the establishment of the three ashrams, all of which are committed to bring back to the abandoned people’s life, the dignity of being, that they were stripped of.
The latter half of the evening was spent under the spell of the very talented Sonny and Kajal. Such was their singing that the people from another event at the venue could not resist joining in to listen.
The evening was an important step in enabling us as a community to lend a hand to a far too often ignored, yet integral part of our society that should not be abandoned. Come be a part of the helping hand. Come give back dignity. To find out more, and to participate in this most worthy venture, log on to www.sheows.org. To donate, make your contributions at Give2Asia.org and search for SHEOWS and donate. It’s that easy!