Tales of the forgotten

Tales of the forgotten
The sight of India's destitute is sad, but at the same time common. A hospice ran by Jesuits rescues them, providing sanctuary until their last breath

MANILA, Philippines – The sight of India’s destitute elderly is sad, but at the same time common.

By day, they scavenge for food from piles of garbage, feebly fighting for survival against rabid stray dogs. By night, they’re slumped in the pavements, vulnerable to thugs and urban filth.

A Catholic priest, Father Thomas, was moved by their plight. In 2005, he put up the St. Joseph Hospice to rescue the elderly on the streets. An ambulance picks them up from the streets, and then taken into the hospice. 

Once in, new patients are initially quarantined. Their old clothes are discarded, then are showered, given new clothing and fed. The elderly also go through a series of blood tests to identify any infectious diseases.

They are transferred to the hospice’s main unit once cleared, joining the company of other rescued elderly.

Some only have a short time to live, but are loved and cared for in their last days. They breathe their last while in a warm bed and with a roof on their head – in their death, they are given dignity. – Rappler.com

This is brought to you by Our Better World, an initiative of the Singapore International Foundation – sharing stories to inspire good

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