I have served under the Nawab of Kurwai and back then we would celebrate Diwali with same fervor as I do now when I am living here in shelter home, says an inmate of Aasra old age home Mangal Pandey. The fervor though has not faded but we have grown old and we can’t burst crackers like others as we can’t exert like before, Mangal Pandey says with a chuckle.
The Aasara inmates are all set for the Diwali. They have decorated Rangoli on the entrance of the hall. The other portions of the Aasara have been decorated with flowers for the festival. The Aasra old age home houses 90 inmates including 40 women from different parts of the state, however most of them are from Bhopal and nearby area.
Another inmate of the Aasara, Vijay Shankar says that he celebrates the festival just like the he been for 40 years. He said we feel like home while celebrating the festival here even when we can only play with crackers which only produce light and not sound. “We are excited that people here on festivals and celebrate with us,” he added.
Radha, the caretaker of the ashram says that the cops from Central Jail had come to offer prayers in the Aasara yestedray. She says that the elderly inmates who live here burst crackers as we have all the arrangements here but it is hard for them to run after bursting crackers. We will offer prayers and follow other rituals on the Diwali so that none of them feel not being with their relatives on festival, says Radha.She says that we have ensured all the preparations for the festival and anyone who wishes to visit their relatives is free to do so. Others who wish to celebrate festival with them are also welcome in Aasara, she says.