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Mother’s Day tale of mothers ‘disregarded’ by children

Narayan Adhikari, CHITWAN: Today is Matatirtha Aunshi or Mother’s Day which is celebrated by showing respects to all mothers and expressing gratitude for the hardships they came through while in bringing up children.
The city was full of feet with hustle and bustle since early morning as people were heading to meet their mothers. Devghat, a holy in Chitwan which is also home to many dependent mothers arrived here by wish or out of compulsion were seen waiting for the arrival of their children on this special occasion.
This religious site (above five kilometers north-west of Narayangadh rests at the confluence of Kaligandaki and Trishuli rivers (which form the Narayani River thereby). It could be realized that mothers taking shelter in Devghat Samaj Kalyan Ashram (an old age- home) were with desperate eyes to see their dear ones.
Ashram caretaker and Devghat Area Development Committee employee Dhaka Raj Koirala said his personal judgment is that such mothers felt not good especially during festivals. The arrivals of donors with verities of delicacies rarely bring cheers among them, instead of recollection of their kin give them pain.
Among the parents taking shelter here, some are childless and some have children but are disregarded, he claimed. Parents who have children seem desperate to see their loved ones during the festivals, and left disappointed when their hope turns out to be dead.
Shiva Kumari Sharma, 83, of Bharatpur metropolitan city-11, who is living in the old-age home, expressed her melancholy bout her situation by singing the following couplet:
Sero phero kehi chhaina mero
Jata heryo utai chha aandhero
[I have nothing mine of everything around
Wherever I look there is darkness]
Sharma has been living at the Devghat Social Welfare Old Age Shelter since the last five years. “Today is the Mata Tirtha Aunsi or mother’s day. Sons and daughters in the cities and urban areas are showing reverence to their mother by serving various treats. But what significance this day holds for older people like us who are living in shelter homes, away from the family love and care?”
Krishna Maya Adhikari of Lamjung was longing that her daughter will pay a visit to her and take her for an outing. Her daughter lives in Bharatpur metropolitan city-7.
Adhikari started living alone after her husband married with another woman. She started living in the old-age shelter after marrying off her daughter. She is staying in the shelter for 11 years.
However, Laxmi Maya Shrestha from Sindhuli said she wishes her son did not know how she was living in the old age home. Exuding disappointment, the 85-year old feels its comfortable here, but is often haunted by memory of children and family she left behind especially during festivals. She had left home as she did not get support and respect.
On the other hand, Janaki Paoudel from Parbat had to leave her home as she did not have any children. She also shared that festival does not elate much despite having good care at shelter. “Sometime, I wish not festivals occurred.”

There is an elderly person even from the Kathmandu Valley, 103-year-old Umadevi Khanal. She urged the reporters not to dig the past, reasoning she lost her husband in the first year of her marriage- she got married when she was seven. Such festival as Matatirtha does not have any meaning to her life.

There are 120 senior citizens staying in three old age homes here. Sixty percent of them are very old people. RSS

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