-Smrity 

Lucknow: Old-age-is inevitable, with growing age numerous physical, psychological and social role changes and challenges their sense of self and capacity to live happily.  Experiencing loneliness and depression in old age is very common among the elderly. According to a recent study, one in every two elderly individuals suffers from loneliness. The study also noted how every fifth senior citizen in the country is in need of some kind of psychological counselling.

Eighty-one-year-old  Kamla Devi favourably called dadi by  all, greets her customers or rather say visitors with a soothing smile and offers whatever little she has in her sweetest possible tone. “Bitiya ka chaahi” (What do you want child) exclaims dadi at the sight of me.

Kamla Dadi

She religiously comes every evening to the sector Q vegetable market n Aliganj, Lucknow. She spreads a sheet over the ground and places all the vegetables though very little in amount but in a very systematic order over the sheet.  Like other vegetable vendors, she doesn’t shout at top of her voice, insisting people to buy from her stall. All that she does is sit quietly over her stall and look at the passers-by.

She has been practicing this for the past 30 years, when asked about her daily income from the stall dadi, very joy-fully replies “hum yahan kmaane nahin aatein hain bitiya, hum toh aaplogan se milne aawat hain” (I don’t come here to earn money, in fact, I come here to meet you people).

With advancing age lack of close family ties and reduced connections with friends and family, results in an inability to actively participate in the community activities. But this notion is absolutely proven wrong by this old lady.

Meeting people and socialising with them brings joy to dadi. She is a widow and has two sons who are married, in a conversation with the2is.com Kamla Devi said that her sons are most of the time busy with work and the daughter in laws keep busy with the regular household chores, hence in these vegetables she has found a way to socialise and wile away her time.

The vegetables and the customers are her stressbusters she not only smiles and greets you but would also offer all her vegetables at the cheapest possible price.