By A Ghiyasuddin, TwoCircles.net,
Nalbari (Assam): At the ripe old age of 82, Sarifuddin Ahmed is a solitary soul, although he lives in the midst of a crowded locality. He owns nothing; he has no one that he can call his own. Till recently he was forced to spend days on streets.
Sarifuddin used to run a grocery shop and had land, properties at his home town Rangia in Kamrup district. But after the death of his wife, his two sons sold off the property and went on to settle in Uttar Pradesh, forcing Sarifuddin on the streets.
Mazibur Rahman watering the vegetables in the old age home campus on the outskirts of Nalbari
But today, life could not be better than this for him as he enjoys gardening along with others of his age at ‘Shanti Nivas’ here in Nalbari, one of Assam’s remote districts.
‘Shanti Nivas’ is an old age home single handedly set up by a young spirited man Mazibur Rahman. “Mazibur is all-in-all in my life. He is more than a son and a guardian to me,” a visibly content Sarifuddin told TwoCircles.net.
“I am happy to be here. What more can I ask from life when I have someone like Mazibur? My own sons deserted me but Allah has given me a real son in Mazibur. I pray to Almighty that Mazibur keeps on helping the people and the humanity,” he says.
And Sarifuddin is not alone. Girija Baishya, 70, was deserted by her sons and daughter. “It’s my home now. I feel extremely glad to be with Mazibur. He is doing a great work, which many cannot even imagine. It’s the will power and not the money, which helps achieving such great work,” the septuagenarian says.
Mazibur Rahman (centre) with Sarifuddin Ahmed (right) along with other inmates of the Old Age Home
The location just adds to their peace of mind. It is situated amidst greenery – paddy fields, rows of trees and ponds. Some of the inmates also help Mazibur in growing vegetables and other items in the campus. These vegetables also enrich their nutrition.
These seniors are thankful to Mazibur for assuring them a life of dignity by providing shelter and care. The old age home was formally inaugurated a few weeks ago but has already sent back 10 such seniors to their respective families after counseling.
At present there are six inmates in the home. Mazibur, a journalist touching 40, says he was disturbed at seeing the instances of how the near and dear ones often deserted their relatives, even elderly parents.
Mazibur, based here in Nalbari, says he has always tried to bring a change in their lives seeking solace for his soul. “It’s a very alarming trend how elderly people are deserted even by their own sons and daughters. It’s very disturbing and pains me to the core. I thought of doing something, which will give me some kind of satisfaction. Now, my dream project Shanti Nivas is a reality. My aim is to give these people a new phase of life.”
It was his friend Mahendra Baishya, who donated a plot of land for the old age home. The duo developed the houses to make shelter home for the inmates who are either deserted by their family or physically/mentally handicapped. Mazibur’s wife and two children also help him out in his passion for the elderly.
The house for women inmates in the Old Age Home
“I have been bearing the expanses of my own. I have never sought help from any NGOs or even the government. If somebody wants to donate or help, I will welcome them,” he says with a smile.
Such efforts which are based on individual endeavour are really praiseworthy, says Bhaskar Sarma, living in the neighbourhood. He adds: “It’s a commendable job. There are many old age homes run either by NGOs or government but starting things like this individually is really great.”
Mazibur has also arranged for prayers for the inmates. The Muslim inmates can offer namaz while there are facilities for a prayer for the Hindu inmates. As the name suggests, an abode of peace, indeed!
Those who want to support this wonderful initiative can contact
Name: Mazibur Rahman, Email Id: [email protected], Mobile: +91 9954016298
Account Number: 370101000146 ,
Canara Bank, Nalbari Branch , Assam , India