Monday, 30th October 2017

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Fun with elders and a promise

Loreto House students of classes XI and XII sing and dance for the senior citizens and chat with them

By Jhinuk Mazumdar in Calcutta
  • Published 14.12.19, 3:41 AM
  • Updated 14.12.19, 3:41 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Students of classes XI and XII perform for senior citizens at Loreto House on Thursday. Pictures by Sanat Kumar Sinha

A septuagenarian’s earnest appeal to a teenager to take care of her grandparents had the Class XI girl in tears.

The elderly man was among 300 residents of seven old- age homes who spent Thursday and Friday morning at Loreto House. The students of classes XI and XII sang and danced for the senior citizens and chatted with them.

“He called me to say to take care of my grandparents. He also said he has a grandson and a granddaughter but he cannot be with them and grandchildren have no idea what their grandparents go through,” said Aulinee Sen of Class XI. 

The preparations for We Care, a two-day programme, began much earlier as the girls went to the old-age to invite the residents.

When the seniors arrived at the school on Friday, they were assigned a student escort each as soon as they alighted from the bus. The girls lent a helping hand at every step.

The students put up a cultural programme, as the seniors waited eagerly for their turn to break into a jig or a song. They also baked a cake for the guests.

The idea of the programme started in the early 90s was to engage the children and make them realise how important it is to talk to the elderly people around them, principal Aruna Gomes said. 

Senior citizens at Loreto House on Thursday
Senior citizens at Loreto House on Thursday Pictures by Sanat Kumar Sinha

“At the end of the day when I spoke to the students, I told them that they should go back and speak to their grandparents at home. I told them that they know how lonely old people are and they might be sitting silently at home but they need someone to talk to them and spend time with them,” she said.

Some came on wheelchairs and some with a walking stick but all of them went back with a bagful of memories and a promise from the students of invitation next year.