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These Assam senior citizens rode a new wave of life on Women’s Day

Around 40 inmates of Mother Old Age Home in Guwahati treated to a day full of fun, food and music aboard Alfresco Grand, a floating-cum-cruise restaurant, along river Brahmaputra

Kalyan Deb

Guwahati: At a time when the entire world was celebrating International Women’s Day with their family and friends, a floating-cum-cruise restaurant in Guwahati, Assam paid a unique tribute to the fairer sex by getting on board several senior citizens from the city.

Around 40 inmates of Mother Old Age Home in Guwahati were treated to songs, dance and, not to forget, lip-smacking food, as part of the Women’s Day celebrations on Friday.

The special initiative was the idea of Shanti Doley, co-owner of Alfresco Grand that has been providing cruise services along Brahmaputra river since 1998. The woman entrepreneur from the city decided to dedicate the day by catering to the elderly women who have been coerced by circumstances of life to live away from their family environs.

As the special guests started boarding the cruise ship, the environment echoed with melodies of music, the aitas (grandmothers) grooving to Bihu songs and cheerfulness engulfing the mighty river.

Inmates of Mother Old Age Home in Guwahati enjoying a live musical performance on board Alfresco Grand, a floating-cum-cruise restaurant
Inmates of Mother Old Age Home in Guwahati enjoying a live musical performance on board Alfresco Grand, a floating-cum-cruise restaurant
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Doley, who herself chose not to confine herself within the enclosure of her domestic life and played an important role in grooming the business alongside her husband Hemanta Doley, shares a different opinion. She said that more than a celebration it was her wish to share a few moments of happiness with the kokas (grandfathers) and aitas of the old-age home.

“It is nothing like I am celebrating International Woman’s Day but I just wanted them to come over and have fun. It was a lovely experience to see them dance and enjoy. It is just that I chose this day,” Doley told EastMojo.

The <i>aitas </i>(grandmothers) were seen grooving to foot-tapping Bihu numbers aboard Alfresco Grand on Friday
The aitas (grandmothers) were seen grooving to foot-tapping Bihu numbers aboard Alfresco Grand on Friday
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Away from the harsh reality, where many of them have been abandoned by their families, the aitas of Mother Old Age Home got a chance to forget their miseries, save for a day.

Monica Sharma, who co-founded the old-age home along with Utpal Harshavardhan in 2012, said that the inmates have all experienced a past that have left them scarred and at times they get depressed. However, a day off like the one on board Alfresco Grand can become a source of motivation to lead the rest of their lives.