Yesterday, we told you about nine-year-old Ridhima Pandey who is suing the government over climate change inaction. Meet Vivhan Rekhi, a 16-year-old boy from Delhi British School, working hard to raise funds with a mission: to rescue the abandoned elderly from the streets of Delhi.
He has been living with his grandparents in a joint family. “Their stories are illuminating and their unconditional love a blessing. I firmly believe that we should cherish the time we spend with our elders,” he says.
He was horrified when late one night, returning home from a friend’s birthday he saw a frail old man and a tiny hunched old woman fighting dogs over leftovers. “That night I couldn’t sleep, and I asked myself why old people have to fight dogs for food, and how can I help?” he writes on Ketto.
Vivhan learned that thousands of elderly have been abandoned by their families on the roads of Delhi. Old age homes run mostly by NGOs care for an abysmally small number. But they are helping, and he wanted to get involved. His father identified an old age home and over the last year, he has been volunteering a few hours every week at Guru Vishram Vridh Ashram (GVVA).
Providing care, shelter, and love to the homeless elderly through two old age homes, one in Delhi (2003) and the other in Garhmukteshwar (2008), GVVA has saved over 4,000 elders according to Ketto. A dedicated team at GVVA scours for the disowned and brings them to the shelter for medical attention and rehabilitation.
He is currently raising funds through Ketto for a rescue vehicle. “When I heard they were trying to raise funds to buy a vehicle to rescue over 3000 adults over the next decade, I thought this truly could be a gift that keeps on giving, and that I personally could leverage my social network to make this happen.”
This article is part of a series on inspiring child leaders.
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The CSR Journal Team