Updated: Feb 24, 2019
Nestled below the lush greenery of the Chandragiri hills, about an hour drive west of Kathmandu is the Matatirtha Old Age Home, home to 24 women aged 70 and above. This old age home gets its name from the Matatirtha Temple, a Hindu temple located nearby. The word Matatirtha comes from two Sanskrit words, "Mata" meaning mother and "tirtha" meaning a sacred place. Because of the religious aspects of the temple, every year on Mother’s Day, thousands of people especially ones who have lost their mothers gather here to celebrate the day.
Established in 1997, the Matatirtha Old Age Home was formed with the purpose of providing basic food, shelter and clothing to homeless and displaced old women above 65 years of age regardless of religion, caste or status. Initially the committee began accommodating 5 elderly women and have grown gradually. Funded mostly by domestic and international non-profit organisation, government and non – government corporations, kin of some ladies placed here and other kind and generous locals and foreigners, over a span of 22 years, the committee has faced many hardships and adversities and has yet come a long way.
After a phone call at Matatirtha to assess their needs, our team visited the home with what they required the most - basic food items like rice, lentils, vegetables, condiments and toiletries plus basic sanitation items. We also took with us some blankets and jackets.
As we arrived at the home, we were surprised at how warm and welcoming they were. Either abandoned by their families or found on streets, these women had renewed energy at a place they now call home. As they greeted us with smiling faces and joined hands to say Namaste, their Namaste instantly turned into the peace victory signs as they saw our cameras, the contagious spirit, enough to melt anyone’s heart!