Ms Arora inspires at 83!
This sprightly octogenarian is a shining example for the community, reports SUJITH KRISHNAN
The Inner East Social Inclusion Initiative aspires to build a greater sense of belonging in the community, irrespective of cultural background, age or gender and Opening Doors is a programme commenced in 2009 with the sole objective of confronting the barrier of social isolation in the community. The programme is designed to bring people together from varying backgrounds detached from the community, to help them develop self-esteem and leadership skills. It also offers support to make them feel worthy of involvement in the community and encourages them to put into practice projects to enhance social inclusion in society. In May, the leadership programme commenced its third year by welcoming participants from diverse backgrounds, and a graduation ceremony was organized on November 11 to acknowledge the emergence of these empowered individuals who, till a few months back, had a somewhat insulated outlook towards life.
One of the graduates, Krishna Arora, a veteran at 83, arrived in Melbourne in 1992 with the aspiration of bringing the community closer in every way she could, and that was the sole reason behind her taking up the leadership programmme. Indian Link was fortunate to have had a chat with her and this reporter was blown away by her sheer resolve and ceaseless desire to lend a helping hand. It was this tenacity that spurred Ms Arora on to bigger achievements. She has held the presidential post at the Indian Seniors Citizens Association (ISCA) and continues to work actively for the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV). Moreover, she has been honoured with the Victorian Senior of the Year award and has also been rewarded for her contribution to multicultural affairs in the state. Ms Arora says, “You’re never too old to learn and never too old to try something new”. A strong believer in the potential of food to unite people, she is now developing a community kitchen wherein seniors can gather, discuss recipes and cook together for the neighbourhood. There is so much we can learn from the dynamic Ms Arora, a woman on a mission, who gives the younger generation a run for their money with her enthusiasm, perseverance and craving to live life to the fullest in the most righteous manner.
Opening Doors has now changed the lives of 75 individuals so far, and helped develop 50 community projects since its inception. We congratulate the organizers and wish Ms Arora the very best for the future.