“Don’t Forget the Seniors”
India Home’s seniors got an opportunity to make their voices heard by City Hall. About 15 seniors from our Sunnyside Center and Desi Senior Center participated in Advocacy Day organized by Live On NY at City Hall on Wednesday May 11th. The day started with a rally on the steps of the famous building. Bobbie Sackman, Director of Public Policy at Live On NY thanked the seniors for all their contributions to New York City and said they had to make sure Mayor de Blasio allotted more money to senior services in the budget. Our seniors had a great time chanting “Don’t Forget the Seniors” at the Mayor’s office windows in City Hall.
India Home’s members meet with Council Members
India Home’s Desi Senior Center members Harun R Bhuiyan, MD Taher, Dr. Moksed, Shafiqur Rahman, met for an hour with Council Member I. Daneek Miller and let him know of their need for culturally appropriate senior services. In particular, the need to grow the capacity of the South Asian community to better serve its own seniors. As Council Member Miller rightly noted, India Home is the largest Halal congregate meal service for seniors in the city.
In addition to advocating for more money to be allotted to meals that serve culturally appropriate food, our seniors also discussed ESL classes. So many immigrant seniors have Low English Proficiency and thus cannot communicate their problems or access government services.
India Home’s seniors also met with Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer for an hour. Our members from the Sunnyside Center, Chandrakant Sheth, Usha Mehta, Dakhsha Patel, and Narendra Butala, spoke about the need for funding for transportation for seniors to get to senior centers and to take trips to combat social isolation.
Two other members, Usha Shah and Prabha Bhasin, met with Amanda Menichini, the Budget Director for Council Member Karen Koslowitz. Our members also met with Dev Awasthi, Budget Director from Council Member Barry Grodenchik’s office and Nadia Chait, the Communications Director from Council Member’s Rory Lancman’s office.
Representing immigrant South Asian seniors
India Home was proud to see so many of our members participate with so much enthusiasm. Our members truly enjoyed meeting with elected officials and their staff and talking about issues that are important to South Asian seniors. They were representing all immigrant South Asian seniors who could not be there to make their voice and needs heard. This is exactly what we aim for at India Home: to develop the leadership capacity of our seniors and help them advocate for themselves!