Monday, December 31, 2007

Helping parents of NRIs in their twilight years

Their children live and work far away, but many parents of non-resident Indians 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 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 the 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.

Source: http://www.indiaenews.com/nri/20071227/88239.htm

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The concept of NRIPO is very impressive and it is very essential presently. I had gone though the site long back and requested them to start in Hyderabad also. Our SSS global may also think to start in similar lines. I am single parent and my children are abroad. I feel the need very intensely and request to start in Hyderabad. -- thanks