A Nakuru town philanthropist has been donating money to 20 neglected elderly people on a daily basis at their chosen spot, opposite the Nakuru Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) showground.
Shamsher Gilani, the Financial Director for Gilani’s Super Market has been assisting the abandoned elderly people for the past fifteen years and their relationship is not only warm but they elatedly talk like old friends.
Speaking to KNA today at their ‘rendezvous,’ he said it all started after he noticed an old man who used to sit on the same spot as he drove from his home to work. One day he decided to stop and talk to him, and they struck a mutual friendship
Gilani said the old man told his friends, and the number has been increasing over the years. He not only knows them by their names but he also knows their personal and family issues.
He said caring for the elderly was important because it enables them not to worry about the things they cannot do anymore, and despite their status they share a lot of wisdom which they have acquired over the years.
Mwangi Gichuki who has been his friend for the last fifteen years said his survival depends on Gilani, and he now perceives him as his guardian angel and what excites him most is the mutual respect they have built over the years.
He said his family became arrogant and made him the scapegoat for all their problems, including the selling of a piece of family land, adding that the habitual intimidation through yelling was too much for him to bear, hence the decision to move away.
He also said they have never made an effort to look for him, but now has a loving family of his age mates, who have gone through a similar experience and God has given them a benefactor who ensures they get their daily bread.
He also appealed to the government to include them in the Inua Jamii Program, since out of the twenty members only eight were receiving the monthly stipend of Sh.2000.
The Inua Jamii program is the government’s flagship national safety program for the elderly, People Living with Disabilities and orphaned children. But despite over 20 billion having been spent on uplifting their living standards since 2018, there has been constant complaints from the non-beneficiaries who feel left out by the selecting committee, which includes the chiefs.
By Veronica Bosibori