New beginnings | Seniors news

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New Indian seniors support group, hot lunch and Bingo, quality entertainment and picnics…it is a good time to be old
New beginnings
The City of Stonnington in the inner eastern region of Melbourne has long been interested in starting an Indian seniors social support group, as a large number of Indian seniors call the area home. Jaya Manchikanti, Cultural Diversity Planner at the Council, approached Anand Shome of SEWA International to help initiate the group.
The City allocated Phoenix Park Community Hall at 22 Rob Roy Road, Malvern East, for the purpose, and the group held its first meeting in June. About 40 seniors attended, and decided they would meet from 2 to 4 pm every second Saturday of the month.
The main intent of this group is to counter social isolation and make new friends in a culturally and linguistically sensitive manner and to share life experiences and stories over a cuppa and snacks.
At the July meet, Sunil Tyagi of The Star of India restaurant, sang bhajans and Bollywood songs to entertain attendees. Especially poignant was his Manna De number Qasmen waade pyaaarwafa sab baaten hain, in memory of a great singer who passed away recently. Lunch provided by Arun Chauhan of Shiva Indian Restaurant in Prahran was very welcome, given the drizzly Melbourne 11 degree day! A picnic is on the cards as and when the weather improves.
Seniors of Indian origin, especially those who live in Stonnington, are welcome to join in and make new friends. For more info, call Jaya Manchikanti or Frances Rodrigo on 03 8290 3224.
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Bingo at ISCA
It is not so much the freeze that keeps Melbournians indoors during winter months as it is that irritating drizzle. Outdoors becomes deserted, and seniors would rather sit under electric blanket-induced warmth, a cuppa in hand. And so President Prem Phakey of the Indian Senior Citizens Association welcomed an astounding hundred plus who attended the July meet of ISCA, his smirky raised brows acknowledging their initiative. Bingo and a nice hot Indian lunch kept members happy.
ISCA boasts 350 plus members. In the month of August, as always, ISCA is holding a multicultural day, with Bollywood and Indian classical dances, and also dances by a Chinese group. $15.00 tickets are on sale now. ISCA meetings are conducted in the Library Hall directly opposite the Mt. Waverley railway station.
ISCA conducts a weekly Friday program from 12 noon until 3 pm at 21A Electra Avenue, Ashwood. Easily accessible by public transport (a ten minute walk from Jordanville station, and connected by 767 and 734 bus routes), this has fast become quite a success story. Experts Ashima Gupta and Subhash Chandra conduct ‘chair yoga’. A documentary or two, relating to India, are shown. Members mill around and share home-brought lunch.
For more info, call President Prem Phakey on 03 9803 3989.
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ISAW: Growing in numbers
Indian Seniors Association (West) had its monthly meet in their beautifully heated hall. Amitabh Singh and his wife Priya of Om Group entertained with their singing, and members enjoyed bingo and documentaries on India.
Seven new members have now joined ISAW, swelling the membership to a rather encouraging fifty. To promote local business, lunch was ordered from a nearby Indian restaurant.
For more info, email President Arjan Tuli at arjantuli@bigpond.com.
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Golden oldies at KISCA

Thakur Bhim Singh takes his music very seriously

You may bet your last dollar that with Barbara Nagaya, a renowned Melbourne singer, as president, Kingston Indian Seniors Citizens Association (KISCA) will never lag on excellent music programs. The entertainment this month was Thakur Bhim Singh who, aided by his computerised systems, initiated the afternoon with a bhajan he composed, with Rajesh Gena on tabla. Then came a number of 1960s and 70s style entertainment, vastly more enchanting than today’s music and lyrics. Members sang along, including Krishna Arora, 85 years young. A new arrival from India, Inder Sharma also presented a few golden-oldies. Uncle Ram Vilas, Veena (from the recognised Das family of musicians from Fiji), secretary Mona Raju and Bangla Deshi Ateeq also entertained. KISCA gained many new members this month.
KISCA meets in the Community Hall at Marcus Road, Dingley Village from 2.00pm to 5.00pm on the third Sunday of the month.
For more info, call President Barbara Nagaya on 03 9893 3427.
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A picnic for heart health!
Indian Seniors Forum members were brave enough to plan a picnic to Ballarat during winter months, but the Sun God had other plans! Co-ordinator Vinnie Rao came up with a novel idea: an ‘Indoor Picnic’, which she arranged right inside the Camberwell hall. A busload of members attended.
At their Clayton meet, Dr Vishnu Sharma held a comprehensive lecture on the functioning of the human heart, and concluded with a Q and A session.
This month, the Forum welcomed about twenty visitors and also gained many new members.
For more info, call Chief Coordinator A. K. Auplish on 03 9543 6615.
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NRISA presents Energy Information
The Government of Victoria (www.switchon.vic.gov.au) has allocated Northern Region Indian Seniors Association (NRISA) see www.nrisa.org, a small grant to disseminate information on energy to help families and small businesses optimise their power bills.
An overview of this system was presented to the membership at their monthly function. Dr Nalin Sharda presented a comprehensive introduction to the Save Energy program.
Earlier, President Dr Santosh Kumar welcomed members. Guest Martin Ferguson, ex federal Minister, gave a rather informative talk on seniors’ rights. Member Pravin Vaghani presented a poem, and Sunita Sethi entertained with a few songs.
NRISA meets on the third Sunday of the month at Seniors Hall, 18-A Bent Street in Northcote (Mel Ref: 30 D7). The nearest railway station is Northcote, on Epping line, and tram stop for number 34 at High Street, on Bundoora line. Ample parking is available at the Northcote Shopping Plaza.
After meetings, Dr Sharda has offered to guide members on computer matters. Those interested must talk to him and bring their own laptops.
For more info, call President Santosh Kumar 0411 136 612, 03 9816 3401, or email Santosh.Kumarau@gmail.com
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And a 15th birthday!
Fijian Indian Senior Citizens Association (FISCA) will celebrate its 15th year of serving its members late this month. President Jerry Jeraj has a full day of Bollywood singing and dances, a delicious spread and gate prizes planned to celebrate the occasion.
For more info, email ljeraj@optusnet.com.au.

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