The 65-year-old woman was clueless about where to go and what to do when on Tuesday, 15th of May, she entered the Sakinaka police station in Mumbai seeking help.
The homeless old woman, later identified as Lata Pardeshi, had served as a maid in the Sakinaka’s Chachad Hospital for long 20 years. However, she was left unemployed and homeless after the hospital was demolished last month.
Lata lost her husband 30 years ago and her son also died a few years back. She didn’t want to become a burden to her widowed daughter-in-law who lives in Pune and she had no contact with her relatives also, which left her alone and homeless.
With nowhere to go, she entered the Sakinaka police station in search of help. PSI Bhalerao ensured her that they would find a permanent home for her. As Lata said to the TOI, “The cops, especially Bhalerao, treated me with a lot of love and care and even gave me Rs 500 for food and promised to find me a shelter. It was very difficult for me to leave the police station after spending just two days there as the cops treated me like their mother. Bhalerao listened to my problems and immediately offered to help me.”
Bhalerao kept his words, though at first he and his colleagues found it difficult to search a shelter for the elderly, as none of the politicians or NGOs was ready to help. Recalling the struggles he said, “During my hunt to get an accommodation for Pardeshi; I called several local politicians who told me they would get back to me. Later, though, they either switched off their phones or cut my calls. NGOs asked for a donation and said they could not accommodate her at present.”
Bhalerao was able to raise a fund of Rs 23,000 with the help of other cops who contributed for the charitable work. They found Lata an accommodation at the Karjat Old Age Home.
As the day arrived when Lata was all set to move to her new home, the cops organised a farewell for her. It was a very emotional moment for both Lata and the police officers. PSI Nilesh Bhalerao promised to meet her at least once in a month. Before leaving she told him, “You are like my son.”
Nowadays when often children decide to send their elderly parents to old age homes and sometimes few of them become so inhuman to leave their parents abandoned on roads, this is such a heartwarming gesture of the police officers. Respect to PSI Nilesh Bhalerao and his team.