A dream project of the Auckland based Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust would become a reality if the encouraging response that it has attracted thus far is any indication.
The Trust is committed to the establishment of a ‘Culturally appropriate Home for the Elderly’ in Auckland, with attendant facilities and amenities.
Chairman Jeet Suchdev, who has been running daycare facilities for the senior members of the society for the past several years, said that it was time to consider a permanent home for those in need.
“Many members of our community, who are in the evening of their day, need a place to stay and enjoy the basic needs and comforts in life. We owe it to our elders who have contributed their mite not only to the betterment of their families but also the society at large. I am confident of achieving our goal with the patronage and support of our people,” he said.
According to him, most migrants experience dynamic transformations in our means, life style, professional and occupational challenges which constantly limit our capability to perform as caregivers.
“Often, individual efforts must be augmented by community support and programmes. Our Old Age Home Project aims to address the inadequacies and promote the wellbeing of our elders,” he said.
A number of people who attended the India Independence Day Celebrations organised by the Trust at the Aotea Centre on August 14 pledged their financial and material support for the ambitious project.
Outgoing Labour MP Dr Ashraf Choudhary was the first to voice support with a cheque for $1000, followed by Labour MP and Finance Spokesman David Cunliffe with a contribution of $250.
Mr Suchdev said many other members of the larger New Zealand community would send their contribution in due course.
The Independence Day celebrations, which included a multicultural programme at the ASB Theatre, attracted more than 5000 men, women and children.
As well as Auckland City Mayor Len Brown, the event was patronised by Opposition Leader Phil Goff, Labour MPs David Cunliffe and Dr Ashraf Choudhary, National MPs Dr Jackie Blue and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters, former Auckland Deputy Mayor and Trust Patron Dr Bruce Hucker.
Mr Suchdev handed over a cheque for $3500 to Mr Bakshi, as the contribution of the members of the Trust to the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.
Earlier, Radio Tarana Managing Director Robert Khan hoisted the Indian National flag to mark the commencement of Independence Day festivities, which included a multicultural entertainment programme presented by a number of individuals, groups, associations and dance schools.
Photo : A section of the crowd at the Aotea Centre on August 14 (Pictures by Narendra Bedekar © )