The 'Day Home' (pakal veedu) for elderly women by Sree Narayana Vanitha Samithy in Kollam is special in many ways. One popular programme organized by the home is watching movies in a cinema theatre. When convenor Sheela Prafulla Kumar suggests an outing to enjoy the latest blockbuster, everyone agrees. There are women aged 50 to 95 in the home.
The women who arrive to spend the day at the home under the Samithy, an organization based at Kadappakkada, enjoy life to the fullest. This women's organization was set up by Dr Uma Mohandas 30 years ago. The membership has now gone up to 170 and the Samithy is engaged in several activities aimed at benefiting women.
Though the Samithy was launched back in 1989, the Day Home was opened only 10 years ago. However, it was the first such facility in Kollam district. Functioning five days a week, around 40 elderly women reach here regularly. Transportation is arranged for women staying in a radius of 5 km. Many others come in their own vehicles.
When everyone reaches the Day Home in the morning, the place comes alive with fun, games, jokes, and exchange of gossip. But the day starts with a yoga session. After the yoga class, games are arranged for the senior-most mothers.
Another noble venture of Sree Narayana Samithy is SNISH (Sree Narayana Institute of Impaired Speech and Hearing) which was launched in 2010. It helps hearing-impaired kids to communicate. As many as 27 youngsters aged one to seven years are now undergoing training at the institute. Four children who had earlier attended classes here are now studying in regular schools. Children affected by autism and cerebral palsy also make use of the facility.
The goal of Sree Narayana Vanitha Samithy is empowerment of women for which it conducts physical exercise sessions and art programmes, creates handicraft items, organizes cookery and yoga classes. Even dance sessions are arranged.
Other events include watching a film in a theatre every two months, a one-day tour to a nearby tourist spot, birthday celebrations, and an occasional outing.