Now there is help for parents of Pune NRIs
Pune: Their children live and work far away, but many parents of NRIs have formed new bonds in their twilight years – not just companionship but also support – thanks to a unique organisation.
Set up in 1994 with just 30 members, Non-Resident Indian Parents’ Organisation (NRIPO) is now a registered charitable trust with 1,000 members. The support group helps the lonely and aging parents.
Seventy-three-year-old M.H. Paranjape, who has a son in the United States, says that with a large number of youngsters finding jobs overseas, more parents live alone these days.
“Sometimes when members are sick and there is no one to take them to a hospital, NRIPO takes charge. We have tied up with 11 top hospitals in Pune, which admit members of the trust without deposits,” Paranjape said.
The trust has grouped parents according to geographical locations. They meet once every month to discuss issues.
According to 66-year-old Nanda Kumar, a retired banker, who has a son in Houston, US: “We have found great friends in this trust. The meetings help us to bond so that members do not hesitate to ask for help.”
“Communication with kids abroad starts thinning down over a period of time because the children become busy in their families. In such situations, meeting people facing similar situations provide solace and comfort.”
Nanda Kumar said: “Two months ago, a member’s son in Paris faced racial discrimination. We took it up with the ministry of external affairs. The issue has not been resolved, but what counts is the fact that we initiated it.”
The trust organises programmes by inviting banks and other financial institutions to educate members about various investment schemes available in the market.
It insists on members preparing their wills. A copy of each is deposited with the trust, which is opened after the death of the member.
“We have legal consultants who help children deal with legal issues after the parents’ death.
We also take care of funeral arrangements and the bodies till the children arrive. The scheme is called Will and After Assistance,” said Paranjape.
NRIPO has another scheme called “one-by-two” under which two families act as minders to single parents and help them in times of need.
“These families regularly call the single parent, meet him/her at regular intervals and help in times of sickness or other emergencies. The volunteers also take care of daily shopping and bill payments,” Paranjape said.
Younger NRIPO members in their 50s help older colleagues, he said, adding that some of their senior members were as old as 95.
NRIPO has also formed a National Confederation of NRI Parents Organisation with members from Bangalore, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Baroda and Ahmedabad.
|Sunday, 30 December 2007|
NRI opens multi-specialty non-profit hospital in Haryana
Banchari: For nearly a million residents of this backward area of Haryana, it is a blessing indeed. A multi-speciality hospital has opened here, thanks to a US-based non-resident Indian (NRI).
The 55-bed multi-specialty non-profit hospital, with facilities for 24-hour intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency trauma services, started operations in Haryana’s Faridabad district, adjoining the Indian capital, on Saturday.
It has been built by Ohio-based NRI Rajesh K. Soin in the memory of his father, Sukhdev Raj Soin. The NRI’s Nasdaq-listed company in the US has interests in defence equipment manufacturing, software development and other products.
At hand for the inauguration of the hospital were Ohio Senator George Voinovich and Congressmen Mike Turner, Phil Gingrey, Rob Bishop and Steve Pearce.
Nearly 100 villages spread over an area of 4,600 sq km in Faridabad and Mewat – among the most backward districts of Haryana – will benefit from the new hospital. Villagers will now not have to travel to big cities to avail of top health facilities.
The smiles on the faces of villagers from this village and surrounding ones said it all.
“We don’t have to take patients to hospitals in Faridabad (town) and Delhi. The hospital is a boon,” said Puran Lal, resident of Khera Sarai, one of the most populated villages of the area.
“The facility will particularly be beneficial to women,” said sarpanch (headwoman) Gayatri of Rundhi village.
Even though Raj Soin originally hails from Jammu city, he chose to set up the Sukhdev Raj Soin hospital in this part of Haryana after land was donated to the hospital trust and the Soin Foundation by the Maharishi Dayanand memorial campus based here.
“Every individual has the right to good healthcare. We want to provide comprehensive, cost-effective and sustainable and specialized healthcare at par with international health quality standards at the doorstep of the villagers who otherwise cannot afford it,” Raj Soin told IANS.
The hospital, which will further be expanded to 150 beds and add a medical college later, will have surgical and super-specialty services like neuro surgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology and paediatrics.
Medical facilities will be offered free-of-cost to poor patients. Drugs will be made available at highly subsidized rates, Soin said.
Located close to the Delhi-Mathura highway, the new hospital will also cater to accident victims.
US students raise funds for a well in Indian village
Nagpur: A 13-year-old student of Indian origin in the US and his American friends washed cars, sold pizzas and cakes and held sports tournaments to raise money for a tube well in a water-starved village in India.
Shocked by the story of water shortage in Paras village and its environs in Akola district that Rujul related to them, a group of 15 American boys and girls decided to rise to the occasion.
The eighth-grade students of Princeton Day School, New Jersey, also went from home to home seeking donations — for a group of people no one but Rujul had seen in the distant Maharashtra state.
On a visit to Nagpur, Rujul explained what drove him to do what he accomplished with the help of his friends.
Scenes of women carrying heavy pots of water on their heads from long distances are a common image depicting water woes in rural India. For Rujul, who was visiting Paras village, it was an astounding sight.
It was in Paras, nearly 250 km from Nagpur, where his father was born and educated up to middle school. Rujul asked himself whether there wasn’t anything he could do to mitigate the hardship of women, some of whom were older than his mother. That was in 2006.
He retuned to the village this year with an answer backed by his 15 classmates — fund raised through voluntary labour to dig a tube-well on its outskirts.
“In the US, water is taken for granted. You turn on the faucet and get a continuous flow of water. Coming from there, I was really surprised to see the women’s arduous trek. I could not imagine what living in such circumstances could be like”, said Rujul.