Gharkul Belagavi | A Home & Hope for Aged People
Gharkul literally means home sweet home. It is the ideal second home for the second innings for senior citizens. As you enter the premises, you are greeted with a pleasant façade of the building. Lush green lawns, merrily blooming flowering plants, the gardens buzzing with people walking and the sanctity of a huge Shri Datta Temple greet you and prepare you for a happy experience. The unmatched cleanliness, ease of movement at every level and senior friendly amenities at the premise is something that defines comfortable senior living. This ensures the members staying here as well as their family members are assured of their comfort and well being at all times, not to mention the joy of being in company of others.
This project is a work of passion and labor of Late Shri Mukundrao Potdar, an Air Force officer who spent his life and personal savings for it. Post his retirement from Air Force, he worked in the private sector. Upon retirement from the private sector, he returned to his native place Belagavi and turned a builder. That expertise and his network in this field helped him immensely in the construction of Gharkul. He faced tremendous hardships in generating funds, getting the current building permissions and its construction. He was driven by a single minded focus of setting up Gharkul and dedicated his entire life towards it. He was the person who saw the need for elderly care and started Gharkul in 2001 at a rented premises in Tilakwadi, a suburb of Belagavi. He started out as an experiment with only 2 senior citizens staying there. Mukundrao worked relentlessly, even cooking and supervising the facility himself. He soon realized that this kind of facility may be needed on a larger scale. The facility was then briefly housed at Camp in another rented accommodation. In 2002, Swami Chaya Pratishthan was registered as a Trust and Gharkul was transferred to the Trust with all transparent systems and processes in place.
He began his search for a spacious premise and found one at Benakanhalli, 10 kms from the city on Rakaskop Road. This spacious property away from the hustle bustle of the city and yet close by is spread over 1.2 acres of land. It is today the happy abode for over 40 senior citizens enjoying their second innings with all the comforts of home and in company of friends.
Shri Potdar’s dream came true and is now a benchmark for dignified senior citizen living. The Gharkul Home for the Aged is today managed by the Shri Swami Chaya Pratisthan, a registered Trust, founded by Shri Mukund Potdar and led by his equally passionate son, Shri Rajiv Potdar along with like – minded Trustees who contribute with all their might.
Life is beautiful and it deserves to be led beautifully at all stages. In modern times, elderly care has taken a new meaning owing to modern day problems of nuclear families, work related relocation and health issues. Some strong personal reasons requires the elderly to shift to a facility where they can continue to lead a life with as much grace, dignity and comfort as they did at home.
Gharkul, as the name suggests, aims to provide this feeling of being at home during the second innings for the elderly. This home away from home allows the elderly to be in the company of others amidst warm care by the assistants. What’s more, they also enjoy the company of their family and friends who come visiting or the special occasions when the members can visit them. Freedom of mobility ensures they feel in control of their lives at all times.
A dedicated vehicle allows members to travel to the nearby Belagavi city for their needs or to visit friends and acquaintances occasionally. This connectedness boosts their morale and makes their stay all the more comfortable. Gharkul is a boon for new age families where the elderly desire to lead a normal, comfortable life while the family members desire utmost care for them.
Any kind of giving in turn gives immense joy to the donor. Your donations for Gharkul mean a lot to us. Since Gharkul intends to expand its facilities to accommodate more members, it is only possible through donations from generous people across the world.