SCWP in collaboration with Dream Studios, successfully executed it’s fifth event of the GSD week: ‘Art Competition’ at Bint-e-Fatima Old Home, on 6th January 2017. The object of the visit was to connect to and to organize fun-filled activities for those senior citizens who are neglected and left to the mercy of shelters as a result of socio-economic problems in the society.
It must be confessed that after witnessing the exuberance in the various other events held at Nixor College, this visit seemed to be a rather somber one. This time, the situation demanded a more mature and conservative behavior, parallel with the atmosphere. However, volunteers took no time at all in making themselves at home and making sure that the residents were enjoying themselves.
At first it seemed a difficult task to manage such a large crowd of elderly people, as there were disagreements between some of them but CFO of SCWP Bareha Abbas and executives of Dream Studios proved to be quite effective in handling and resolving the issues. After everyone was settled in, volunteers started to distribute sketch papers, pencils, colors, paints, brushes and all other basic amenities required for the activity.
Every one took part in the drawing activity enthusiastically and the volunteers milled about, helping out wherever they were needed. Most of the residents drew ships with a man inside, metaphorically depicting life. Multi colored hearts, balls and vegetables were also seen. Some wrote a message on their sheets, one of them being “Be a friend and have a friend”- which quite seemed to be synonymous with the purpose of our visit. One of the old women was heard reminiscing, “We were just as active as you, I was a badminton player back in my time, but body and physical capabilities fade away with time. Now we’re much weaker and sometimes even our brain doesn’t work properly.”
It must be admitted that this event wasn’t just limited to being a Drawing Competition, as apart from drawing, some singing and dance performances were also seen that filled the air with blissful energy. Some of them sang with the music and others were seen dancing quite professionally, to everyone’s surprise. After these performances, other activities were also arranged for them, which included some of the usual party games.
During the food break, volunteers dispersed and talked to everyone individually asking them their interests and bringing up some long forgotten memories of the elderly by interacting with them. These amicable conversations proved to be an interesting improvisation of the volunteers. Some told us their routine, “We play together, we watch television and sometimes order food from restaurants and it’s just like we party every third day! But you people made this time a wonderful, you’re always welcome here and please next time come for longer, or don’t come!” *laughs*
Most of them were well educated and genteel in their manner. On asking one of them, how they feel of the visit, she answered, “All of you have made my afternoon a wonderful one. I feel like I’m floating in heaven, because I usually am very depressed but today all of you brought me out of my depression and made me really very happy. I enjoyed all the activities thoroughly. I just drew a boat for the two girls (volunteers), who are going to frame it and hang it on their wall which will honor me greatly because I’m not much of a painter.”
Our farewell was met by heartfelt comments of ‘Come again soon!’ or ‘I love you people!’. Every one of them seemed unhappy as they felt the visit was very short, and told us that they were eagerly awaiting the next visit. However it made all of the visiting volunteers realize that ‘happiness adds and multiplies as we divide it with others’ which seems to be precisely the mission of SCWP.