Zoram Entu Pawl (ZEP) is a non-political and Charitable Social Development Organization of the Catholic Church in Mizoram. ZEP is serving the population of Mizoram without any bias of caste, creed, religion and linguistic groups.
Areas of Intervention
? Self Help Group
? Vocational Training
I did my 1 (one) month field work in Zoram Entu Pawl (ZEP). During the fieldwork, I attended the workshop conducted by the agency in Samtlang Village on Micro Enterprise. Distinguished representative SHGs attended the workshop. I was deeply impressed to observe that about 95% of the participants were elderly people. At first the attitude and belief within me was that elderly people were unproductive. But after interacting with some of the villagers and participants, I came to know that the main sources of income for the villagers is shifting cultivation which is called “Jhuming” where people had less time to chat and share even with their family members and to care for the elders in the family. According to Erik Erikson’s eight stages of life theory, old age is a period of “Integrity v/s Despair”, during which a person focuses on reflecting back on life. Those unsuccessful persons feel life has been wasted and will experience many regrets, bitterness and despair. Most whom I interacted felt despair and had many regrets in life and had nobody to share their feelings with. It pushed them into greater despair and bitterness. In fact this happens among most tribal rural people where the old people are neglected and kept without much care. But after the intervention of ZEP Organisation, the SHGs so formed create a family like atmosphere for the group of elders. They experience a sense of security and friendliness when they share their joys and sorrows with each other while working on something which is constructive. The constructive accomplishments done within the group made them feel productive, useful and alive.
I feel that many old aged homes in India can be replaced by imitating the strategies adopted by ZEP towards the elderly citizens. And I could observe and feel the competence of the agency in enabling the marginalized people to have a dignified, quality life. (Albert)