Thursday, October 29, 2009

Elderly, homeless kids to share space in govt home

My Comment: This appears to the first experiment in setting up an
integrated home. We should see how it works out.
Elderly, homeless kids to share space in govt home

Ambika Pandit, TNN 25 October 2009, 12:20am IST

NEW DELHI: Senior citizens and homeless children will share space in
an integrated home in Dwarka which is being set up by the Delhi
on an experimental basis. Through this innovative and commendable
initiative it is hoped that the children will get some "parental
guidance'' while the elderly will not feel lonely. The home is likely
to be opened soon.

The model project proposes to begin by providing accommodation to 30
elderly and 30 children of up to Class III. The integrated home is
being seen as a pilot project in which both children and senior
citizens will reside in the same premises. According to officials,
this would enable children receive love from the elderly and fulfil
their need for parental guidance. Similarly, the senior citizens would
be able to cope with their loneliness when they see children in the
same campus, said officials.

"In government-run institutions at present, the children in need of
care and protection are denied parental guidance. Similarly, senior
citizens in old age homes are deprived of the love and affection of
children. As a result, both sections suffer from a sense of
deprivation and loneliness which affects their behaviour and attitude
towards life,'' a senior official from the department of social
welfare asserted.

Hence the department felt the need for an integrated home for the
children and senior citizens. Under the model project at Dwarka, where
a brand new building was built for an old age home, the senior
citizens are likely to be admitted on a payment of Rs 2,500 to Rs
3,000 on a monthly basis. It has been proposed to keep children of up
to Class III in the home and they be allowed to stay there till they
complete their studies. The department proposes to draw out children
from the Village Cottage Home where small children are staying.
However, senior officials point that the final discretion on which
children will be kept at the integrated home lies with with the Child
Welfare Committee.

This new home is also being seen as a hub for foster-care placement
for the Dwarka area. The department proposes to enrol the children in
some good school at Dwarka and involve NGOs for developing
extra-curricular skills in the children at the home.


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