Caption: Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Rosy Akbar .Photo:SUPPLIED.
In light of the festive season, families in Fiji have been urged to care for the senior citizens by showing them care and compassion.
This call was made by the Hon. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Sofia Akbar whilst visiting the Samabula Senior Citizens Home last week.
Minister Akbar highlighted the importance of families in ensuring the wellbeing of senior citizens.
“I once again appeal to the public to please keep the senior citizens within the boundaries of their homes where they can be given the care and respect they deserve. The seniors should be cherished throughout the year and not only during festive seasons. I urge the families out there and those present here that we need to rekindle our hearts to care for the senior citizens within our communities.
“We should continue to work together with these care giving homes all throughout the year. And I can assure you that this Ministry will always support the initiatives taken to promote the welfare and wellbeing of our senior citizens,” Hon. Akbar reiterated.
Being touched by Minister Akbar’s visit, one of the residents, Ms Anita Reddy was emotional as she explained the circumstances that led her to the Samabula Senior Citizens Home.
“I am 55 years old and I am originally from Labasa. I used to work as a tailor but in 2009, I was hospitalized after suffering from stroke. I was a tailor before I become partially paralyzed due to stroke. I became bed ridden and that’s when my family left me here at this Home in 2010. They think I am a burden to them and they hardly ever visit me, to them it’s like I don’t exist anymore. It’s sad to see that when parents grow old and sickly, the children forget about the sacrifices made by their parents to raise them up.
“But I am glad that we have people around us like Minister Akbar who care for us and today’s visit has demonstrated her compassion and generosity towards the many forgotten senior citizens like me. My message to the youths out there is to look after your parents because when they are gone, then it will be too late to realize their worthiness and contributions,” Ms Reddy explained.
Also present at this function, the president of RC Manubhai Social Network Committee, Mr Ashwin Prasad also urged communities to address the plight of senior citizens in Fiji.
“We should always care for the other members of the society as much as we care for our families. RC Manubhai Social Network Committee is largely inspired by Madam Minister’s, unwavering commitment to reach out and assist those living in squatters and also the underprivileged members of our communities. We are delighted to join hands with the Ministry in recognizing the contributions of our senior citizens at an occasion like Christmas,” Mr Prasad said.
The 52 senior citizens at Samabula Senior Citizens Home were treated to Christmas dinner hosted by the RC Manubhai Social Network Committee. Similarly, the 42 senior citizens from Golden Age Home in Natabua, Lautoka were treated to Christmas gifts by Minister Akbar.