TOAHDCC: A home where the elderly finds new lease of life

Kanili Kiho
Dimapur | November 23  

Frail hands and unwavering hopes, grey hairs and hankering hearts…  

A visit to the Tribal Old Age Home cum Day Care Centre (TOAHDCC), a homely refuge for the elderly at Indisen Village, Dimapur is a heartwarming experience of great learning and inspiring stories.  

Established in 2014 with the motto ‘Service, Witness and Love’ by Tiala Amri, the old age home, which is currently run by her brother Imli Amri, who is a wedding photographer by profession, has been serving as a refuge for senior citizens to live with dignity, in peace and in good health. It also is a place for the elderly to come together and unwind.  

Nagas are known for its strong family values and take pride in caring for the elderly in their old age.  

Many would consider old age homes as an erosion of Naga traditional values. However, values have changed in the present context and the urban life and busy work culture has been making it impossible for many to give quality time to their parents.  

“It is an enormous blessing to render assistance to our senior citizen, who turns up at our door,” says Imli Amri. The old age home is a work in progress to enhance services provided in accordance with the requirements of its growing membership, he adds.  

At present, there are 27 registered members at the old age home. A unit of Ebenezer Welfare Society, Imli claims that the old age home is neither a business nor a commercial undertaking. “We have given our solemn vow to continue being a centre of healing and refuge to the senior citizens who deserve to retire with respect and dignity,” he said.  

With a spiritual outlook, the home holds devotional service every Tuesday. From Monday to Saturday, the Day Care Centre is open to all elderly who wish to unwind by socializing with their peers. They spend a night or two in the midst of motivated young people (caretakers) who lend a listening ear, a helping hand for their spiritual and mental well being, acting according to their needs.  

The testimonies of the senior citizens staying at the old age home speak volumes.  

According to Metemchetla, a 77 year old grandmother, “All these years I had only been world wise but weak in the spirit. Since joining this old age home through my son’s insistence last year, my life took a different turn and for the good. I am happy and blessed to be here.”  

Yemsuienla Sangtam, 73, is a Cancer survivor and a widow. Overcoming a lot of struggles, she has been through a lot of pressure and heart aches. “Since joining the old age home in 2016, I have received a new lease of life,” she says.   One of the oldest at the old age home, 90 year old Baromaya comes every week all the way from the Assam border. She has been a regular member since its inception and continues to share her presence.  

“The concept of the old age home is not about providing a space where parents can be abandoned. It is to provide senior citizens an opportunity to grow, live with respect and dignity and socialize,” Imli maintains.  

Perhaps, one of the most notable occasions at the old age home is the frequent visit by youngsters from ministries, schools, colleges to interact with the elders, hear their stories and learn words of wisdom. Always bustling with activities, an annual Senior Citizens Revival which started on November 23 at the old age home will culminate on November 25.  

TOAHDCC welcomes all senior citizens to attend the revival.