Navi Mumbai: Nana nanis get a place to hang out in Vashi

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has built a recreational centre for senior citizens, which is operated by the Senior Citizen Welfare Association; the elderly can meet like-minded people, play indoor games and watch TV here

Since February, many nana nanis and dada dadis in Navi Mumbai have been disappearing for a while, every day. Youngsters have their coffee shops and pubs; these senior citizens have also got their own stomping ground.

Sarojini Bhaskaran (left) and Maya Nair outside the recreation centre. Bhaskaran says the facility has enabled them to meet many new people
Sarojini Bhaskaran (left) and Maya Nair outside the recreation centre. Bhaskaran says the facility has enabled them to meet many new people

They have been hanging out with peers at a recreational centre for senior citizens in Vashi, constructed by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) and run by the Senior Citizen Welfare Association. At the centre in Jagruteshwar garden in Sector 1 A, they can play indoor games, watch TV, read novels and papers, all for free.

The centre has been constructed by the NMMC and is run by the Senior Citizen Welfare Association. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abidi
The centre has been constructed by the NMMC and is run by the Senior Citizen Welfare Association. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

The facility has become the centre of their attention, as the elderly can spend time and be with like-minded persons. “The centre has become our hangout now. I start my day by coming to this place. We chat, celebrate birthdays, make new friends. It is a very good initiative by the civic body,” said Vashi resident, Janardan Thakur.

Senior citizens can read newspapers and novels here, watch TV, play indoor games all at no cost
Senior citizens can read newspapers and novels here, watch TV, play indoor games all at no cost

Keeping them busy
The seniors say the centre is a boon for them, as it enables them to indulge in various co-curricular activities. Sarojini Bhaskaran (69) says, “We do not have much to do in the mornings and evenings. With such centres coming up, citizens like us look forward to participating in various social activities. We are getting to meet new people.”

Laxman Bitla, a 68-year-old local who is the treasurer of the Association, said, “We are getting a very good response as locals are happy that they have their own recreational centre. There are many more activities that we plan to introduce in the future.” The group plans to arrange trips for the senior citizens.

However the recently inaugurated recreational centre is yet to get fully furnished. Vashi corporator, Vaibhav Gaikwad, said, “We had sent the proposal for such a centre three years ago. Now that we have it, we will be developing it in the coming months and introduce many more features and activities that will benefit the senior citizens of Vashi.”

Apart from television and indoor games including carrom and chess, and the centre is planning to keep a treadmill. “Such facilities will give senior citizens a platform to showcase their co-curricular skills and maintain a bond with other like-minded people in society. This will also help them remain socially active in society,” Maya Nair, a local resident, told this paper.

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