by- Suvidha Bhatnagar
Raheman Bee is an 88 year old lady who lives in Taleda, Rajasthan alone. Her husband was a Kalandar and earned his living by making a sloth bear ‘dance’. The bear became ill and died after some time, followed by Raheman Bee’s only son’s death in an accident. Her husband couldn’t take the trauma and developed some mental problems. Raheman Bee tried to take care of her husband but after some time he also passed away.
Since her husband died, Raheman Bee was the only one left in the family, so she started working as a laborer on daily wages which didn’t prove to be a stable source of income for her. In the course of time, she also developed poor health and with age was diagnosed with severe arthritis due to which she found it difficult to even get up on her own. She then became dependent on neighboring family for food and had to survive on the charity of her community. Raheman Bee also became absent minded due to old age and there was no one to take care of her.
Coming across Raheman Bee’s forgetful condition, our Kalandar Community Rehabilitation Coordinator Ms. Rakhee Sharma decided to help her out. Wildlife SOS began providing a stipend for her monthly needs. Four years have passed and Raheman Bee can’t see properly now, but she has a connection with Ms. Rakhee Sharma, whom she seems to recognize. She identifies no one else in the neighborhood but whenever Ms. Rakhee visits her, it brings a smile to her wrinkled face and she holds her hand lovingly.