BY MAHADEV DESAI
Photos by Vinod Karia
Atlanta, GA: Senior Citizens Program (SCP) Inc organized a joyous Mother’s Day Picnic for senior citizens at The Best Friend Park Pavilion, Norcross, GA, on Sunday, May 25.
The Founding and Executive Director of SCP (Inc) Raj Razdan greeted all present, especially the mothers. The seniors did not want to be left behind in felicitating Prime Minister- elect Narendra Modi for his historic victory in India’s recent elections. Raj invited many of her seniors to share their thoughts on Narendra Modi and bless him with good health to enable him to lead India to its next zenith.
Jubilant Rajni Parikh observed that, “The media is full of news about Narendra Modi and his leadership qualities in running Gujarat administration undoubtedly have contributed to his national election victory. It is time to rejoice in his victory and wish him all the best in his role as India’s Prime Minister.” Parikh led the audience in enthusiastically chanting, “Har har Modi, ghar ghar Modi’.
Atlanta’s noted artist, ghazal and shairi singer and a fellow senior Ujjagar Singh Wassan emceed the program. Paying tribute to mothers, Wassan added that on May 16, immediately after his election victory, even Modi, who has a deep love and respect for his mother Heeraben, went to seek her blessings.
Ajit Dave, Nanubhai Parekh and a few other seniors shared a few Modi jokes while the volunteers went around serving delectable snacks.
Then it was show time as seniors swung into action. Harshadbhai Shah sang the evergreen song ‘Kisi ki muskurahoton pe ho nisar’ (movie Anari). Spirited Ramesh Shah followed with the devotional song ‘ai maa teri surat se alag’ (Daadi Maa). Anil Dikshit who has recently moved to Atlanta from New York sang another devotional song ‘Jag mein sunder hain do naam’.
Poetess Kusum Sinha, a familiar face at Senior Citizen Programs regaled the audience with a thoughtful poem about mothers.
Being Mother’s Day the Fashion parade participants were restricted to women only as fathers clapped with moral support. Brave and talented mothers clad in colorful traditional Indian outfits, or western casuals, assembled in a line to compete and be judged by pre-designated judges. The fashion parade elicited lot of fun, mirth and applause as many ladies mustered up courage, strutted boldly to face the tough judges (and their amused spouses) and to display their hidden talents.
Volunteers did not want to be left behind! So Raj, Shashi Sidhaye, Isha Goyal and Chinti Bali also got on the dance floor while the judges tallied the scores for the fashion-show brave hearts. ! After much deliberation, the judges declared three winners and as follows, Meena Patel (winner), Geeta Patel (first runner-up) and Dr. Rekha Desai (second-runner up). In a display of humility, Dr. Rekha Desai turned around and presented her own gift to Kanta Ben for her participation at the senior events in spite of being handicapped.
The seniors also played musical chairs. Vinod Karia the official photographer for the SCP, as usual, stood behind the lens and captured memorable pictures of the seniors.
SCP volunteer Isha Goyal, an experienced caregiver gave a few healthy life-style and safety tips. She advised the seniors to wear comfortable but loose fitting dresses with elastic bands, which can be removed easily in times of emergencies. She also advised seniors to not lock bathroom or bedroom doors while showering or sleeping so that help can be easily provided in case of sudden strokes or heart attacks or health related emergencies. She informed the seniors to try to use portable arm and leg mini exercise machine with LCD monitor to improve cardiovascular function and blood circulation. She even demonstrated how to use the machine. Last but not the least; she stressed the importance of taking medicines and the effective ways to take medicines.
Raj Razdan recognized and thanked the sponsors of the picnic, Drs. Jayprakash & Rekha Desai, their daughter Pankti and son-in-law Jay along with their children. The Desais are well known for their community service, leadership and philanthropy and have been consistent and steadfast annual sponsors of SCP events for over 17 years. Razdan also recognized SCP volunteers Arunaben Patel, Minesh Mody, Shashi Sidhaye, Isha Goyal, Chinti Bali and many others for their commitment and devotion in service of and empowering the elders of the Georgia community. Dr. Jayprakash & Dr.Rekha Desai presented the volunteers with orchid corsages for Mother’s day. Dr. Desai noted his inspiration to get involved as SCP’s annual sponsor came from his own mother who was a member of this organization.
The program ended with a delicious lunch catered by Rupesh Bhai of Rajbhog who always has been a great supporter of the SCP organization.
(SCP) aims to empower seniors. It provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge, camaraderie and fraternity. The monthly events include picnics, movie shows, celebrations of Valentine Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, India’s Independence Day, religious events like Mata ki Chowki, etc., etc.
The writer is a member of this program since its inception in 1996, and like all the fellow seniors/elders, very appreciative of the endeavor by the organizers of the Senior Citizens Program for the respect, joy, love and fraternity which it bestows on seniors, and wishes to reciprocate with his blessings and good wishes to all the officers of the SCP for their devotion and service to the community.