It’s time for the city’s elder population to take out their dancing shoes again this Navratri, and shake the years of dust off them – for the PS Chavan Navratri Samiti in Goregaon has organised a Dandiya raas specially for senior citizens.
The dandiya will be held at Umiya playground near Umiyamata temple in Goregaon East this Saturday from 8 to 10 pm. What’s more, out of respect for the elderly participants, the organisers have decided not to charge entry fees. “I just want to see a smile on their face,” said Sachin Chavan, a member of the samiti.
“The idea came to me while I was talking to a senior citizen about garba. I felt that they should also get a chance to have fun in their retired life,” added Chavan. Single senior citizens are also welcome.
Though seven couples have approached the samiti, only three have confirmed that they will be participating. “As this is our first attempt, there will be no limit on the number of people who can perform,” said Chavan.
A Malad couple who have registered for the event are excited at the prospect of dancing together this Saturday. Vijaya Tikar (65), a social worker and naturotherapist, said, “I am very happy about participating in a dandiya after such a long time.” Her husband Laxman (75), who was a regular at dandiyas in his younger days, said, “This is the first time since my wedding that I will dance at a dandiya meet. I used to visit dandiyas every year and would always want to dance.”
Another Goregaon couple, who stopped dancing almost 40 years ago, have decided to give it another shot this year. Said businessman Kantiswaroop Lahoti (61), “I used to dance, but haven’t had time to over the past 40 years. I love dancing and am eager to experience dandiya this year.”
Pushpa Garani (65), a resident of Andheri (West), said, “I would love to participate in the dandiya raas, as someone has actually gone out of their way to organise something for us. I will also call many of my friends.”
“I don’t think anybody would experience health problems. But for the sake of safety, we will keep an ambulance and first-aid kit ready for emergencies,” said Chavan.