Zarina Bibi struggled for most part of her youth to make sure her children get the best of education and life. But her children could not manage to stay by her side when she needed them in her old age.
Zarina says her children always cared for her. This was the reason they got in touch with a physiotherapist and a former lecturer at Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Perwaiz Amanat, to look after their ailing mother.
Zarina’s poor health meant her children could not afford to take care of her at all times. Amanat, a retired lecturer and a physiotherapy practitioner became their go-to person.
Amanat would make daily visits to attend to Zarina’s needs. During one of her therapy sessions, old age homes came under discussion and the family implored the physiotherapist to find one for the old mother. This saddened Amanat and when he returned to his home, he asked his father for permission to let the patient live with them.
But the idea did not fancy Zarina’s family and they outright refused it, stating they would rather not want their mother to be a burden on any individual or their families. Amanat took it as if it was just the hint he needed. He later explored his options and decided to open a facility called Anmol Zindagi Old Age Home. The facility has now two branches: one in Federal B. Area, and the other in North Nazimabad.
He took Zarina along and ensured she get the best of care and services available at her disposal. And gradually, his facility expanded and has 37 occupants, including three females at present.
Both the branches of Anmol Zindagi Old Age Home is looked after by 20 staffers in total, with Amanat juggling his time to visit both the places and making sure everything is taken care of. People like Zarina and Amanat show two faces of Pakistani society. One, where a mother makes a sacrifice to give her children everything she could and in return do not even get the love or care she deserves.
The other, an unknown person seeing somebody in pain and decides to help by creating a system which would have the capacity to serve many others suffering a similar fate. There will be many mothers like Zarina Bibi, craving for little attention by their children. So will there be people like Amanat, providing such mothers with a helping hand to rely on.