This series of photographs document the residents at Briddhashram Social Welfare Center for the Elderly located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal amidst the temple complex Pashupatinath. The temple is a famous pilgrimage for Hindus from around the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The shelter is nominally run by the government, providing basic shelter, clothing and food. Lacking adequate resources, the shelter depends on Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity to care for residents in the most dismal of living conditions: overcrowded, poor sanitation, high level of parasitic infections, untreated mental illness and dementia.
Orphaned in old age, the residents are bound to a life without dignity. Looking past the squalid surroundings, my photographs shed light on the social change that has taken away the once honored stature of the elderly in Nepal and offer an intimate glimpse of these invisible souls.
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© Christine Pearl