BENGALURU: In 1934, Mahatma Gandhi visited the city’s Asaktha Poshaka Sabha and wrote “May the institution strive to make the weak strong” in their visitor’s book. This century-old Sabha has sheltered many senior citizens, giving them the much needed support. Today, 187 elderly live here.
The institution was founded in August 30, 1923, at City Theosophical Society premises to serve food to needy. After three years, in 1926, the organisation was registered as Asaktha Poshaka Sabha by M Ramachandra Rao along with a few others. It was running from a rented house then.
In 1932, they got their own building at VV Puram. They had started its construction in 1931 and Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar laid its foundation stone and the diwan of Mysore Sir Mirza Muhammad Ismail inaugurated the building. The building has separate blocks for men and women for dining, medical assistance and other facilities which they can use free of cost.
They have a special hospice centre to take care of terminally ill. Doctor and nurses visit frequently to help people who are ill. The residents gather for puja twice a day at Abhaya Anjaneya Swamy temple in the premises for yoga and meditation classes.
Besides MK Gandhi visited, the Sabha has had many eminent visitors. Sarojini Naidu, who visited the centre on August 2, 1934, wrote: “My visit to the little shrine of compassionate service was one both of pleasure and profit to me and to my two daughters. We were deeply delighted with all the careful arrangements for the inmates carried out with such forethought and efficiency. We were particularly pleased to find that suitable employment was provided for those whose affliction did not preclude them from engaging in useful activities. All seemed happy and at peace in their blessed home and sanctuary”.