How seniors are finding love in their silver years and a wheelchair bound solo traveller–our top social stories of the week
In our Catalysts of Hope series, we bring you uplifting, inspiring, and impactful stories of change.
A growing number of seniors are batting social stigma and prejudice to assert their right to companionship, find love, and overcome loneliness and isolation in old age.
Sadhana Savagave’s husband from her first marriage was diagnosed with and succumbed to cancer—all in a matter of four months. The emotional turmoil and loneliness that followed the abrupt vacuum in her life three years ago convinced the 57-year-old that she would not go through the rest of her life alone.
“Loneliness can hit anyone at any time. It’s a lot more pervasive than people think,” says the 57-year-old former businesswoman from Pune. “I wanted someone in the house I could hear, talk my heart out to, and travel with," she adds.
Nitin Ganpatrao Savagave, (now 60), the principal of an engineering college in Maharashtra, got divorced in 2016. He has a son from his previous marriage. His family wished that he would remarry, but it wasn’t until 2020, when he met Sadhana at the Happy Seniors office (a matchmaking platform for silver citizens started by Madhav Damle) that he decided to start a new chapter in his life. The couple got married in 2020.
Read more about how Indian seniors are breaking barriers to find love in their senior years here.
Parvinder Chawla, a wheelchair-bound solo traveller, has explored 59 countries across six continents, engaging in adventures like kayaking, snorkelling, and paragliding. Despite being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 15, she never lost her passion for travelling. Her journey began in Dubai with the gift of an automatic wheelchair. The trip boosted her confidence to travel independently, and since then there has been no looking back.
While facing accessibility issues in some countries, she advocates for universal accessibility awareness. She also encourages others from her community through her social media. At 52, Chawla embraces the world as her oyster, aspiring to explore more countries and inspire others with her limitless spirit.
In other positive news…
Free healthcare for the homeless
For the past seven years, Aman Vedika, a non-profit, has provided free healthcare services to homeless people in Hyderabad.
According to a report in The New Indian Express, a team comprising a doctor, nurse, driver, a medical social work treats the patient and gives them medicines for cough, cold and fever. In case of severe complications, they refer patients to government hospitals.
The van covers 22 points in five major areas of Hyderabad and works from Monday to Friday. The report also added that a list of essential medicines, ORS, and painkillers are distributed. It also keeps track of the patient’s medical history.
Edited by Megha Reddy