In Pakistan, 60 million people live below the poverty line. These people spend a lifetime trying to survive on mean resources. But what do the poor do in old age, when they no longer have the strength to struggle for a living and there is no one to care fro them?
Ghulam Rasool was a Pakistan Railway employee for much of his life. He considers himself lucky for having been given the opportunity to work hard in his youth. But now Ghulam is 75 years old, and his retirement pension is meagre. It is barely enough for one person to live on. Whereas Ghulam still has dependants that rely on his support. Ghulam Rasool’s daughter, Zulekha is a widow. After losing her husband, she was left to care for her three children on her. Zulekha lives on the outskirts of Faisalabad with her children, where she works as a live-in maidservant for a large household. She is not only unable to care for her elderly father, but also relies on his financial support from one month to the next, because her salary is very little. Alone since the death of his wife, and vulnerable in his old age, Ghulam Rasool lives in an old people’s shelter in Faisalabad. Here, he’s found some measure of comfort with the support of Al Mustafa Welfare Trust’s (AMWT) Honour the Elderly programme. Through donor sponsorship, AMWT is able to provide Ghulam with accommodation, medical care and food. Occasionally we’re even able to supply him with clothing. This allows Ghulam to send some of his pension to his daughter and orphaned grandchildren. Though Ghulam misses his family, he has company at the nursing home. It helps him forget his loneliness and keep himself occupied. AMWT’s Honour the Elderly programme allows us to tackle loneliness, neglect and social isolation in old age. With your support we can give people like Ghulam the care they depend on. But we still have hundreds of vulnerable, older adults waiting for sponsorship. Many are homeless and won’t be able to survive this winter on their own. Please help us so we can give them shelter before the winter colds set in. Sponsor an older person today for as little as £14 a month.