Lonely Festivities: The Heartbreaking Reality of Busy Parents Neglected During Hari Raya

BY: Aida Aziz

IPOH: Titian Abadi Muslim Home Welfare Organization (PEKITA) in Lahat, Ipoh organized an open house to celebrate its elderly residents.

This year’s 1 Syawal celebration for the 22 elderly people who live in the house seems meaningless because they did not come home to celebrate with their families or children.

According to the Chairman of PEKITA, Ahmad Wanchik, although he understands the constraints faced by the heirs or family, the sadness must be faced together.

“For this year’s Raya, many residents did not return to their families due to certain problems, family matters and so on.

“A week before Aidilfitri, we did contact all the heirs and ask how the parents were doing; whether they wanted to take them home or not.

“Some were busy and so let the residents here celebrate Eid with us. The situation is very sad because parents are waiting at the door and hoping that the children will come and pick them up but they didn’t make it,” he said when met at the event.

Based on that, according to Ahmad, the open house celebration was organized to cheer up the residents, thus allowing the public to socialize with them.

“After two years there was no Eid feast due to COVID-19, so this year it can be held to entertain the residents of this house.

“Sending parents or family members to a welfare home is not a problem. But not coming to visit and ignoring them is.

“However, not all descendants ignore their parents,”  said Ahmad, who has managed PEKITA for 12 years under the supervision of the Social Welfare Department (JKM).

Pakndak, 68, one of the residents of this house for seven years, enjoys the presence of other friends and enjoys daily activities.

“I enjoy sitting here because I have many friends. Sometimes I sympathize when I see residents who are neglected by their children.

“I don’t feel sad because my siblings come to visit and take me to other siblings’ houses,” he said.

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