The Oachira Parabrahma temple in Kollam district of Kerala houses 374 elderly people whose family members don’t, or can’t, take care of them. Situated in the Alappuzha district, this temple has opened its doors to hundreds of old men and women irrespective of their religion or caste.
An exclusive shelter has been constructed for the 30 oldest and sickest men and women by the administrative committee of the temple. For others, there are small tents on the premises, which spreads across an area of 40 acres. During the night, these people sleep in a roofed hall.
The elderly living here have been granted access to a pay and use toilet located on the premises. For bathing in the morning, they use the temple pond. They get tea and rice gruel every day for breakfast. Apart from breakfast, they are also served evening tea and dinner.
Many a times, temple devotees also organize free lunch for all. The News Minute reports that their health and medical care needs are taken care of by the nearby Parabrahma Multi Specialty Hospital run by the temple committee. Devotees and temple committee also provide them free clothing.
As the number of homeless elderly finding abode in the temple is increasing with every passing year, temple committee members plan to construct a new building to be able to offer shelter to more people. They are also planning to build a proper graveyard for the people who breathe their last here.
Most of the elderly living here have been abandoned by their children or other family members, while some have left their families because they did not want to be a burden on them. The stories of most of the people living here are similar to each other in some way or the other.
Many of these people come from a background where their children cannot even afford two square meals, many do not have any shelter of their own, while some people’s children have turned them to the streets after taking their property. The one thing common to all these people is that they have been abandoned in their sunset years, when they need support the most.
At this time of need, the Oachira Parabrahma temple serves as their family and their guardian angel!