Delhi’s first Recreation Centre for Senior Citizens was inaugurated on January 26, the Republic Day, in East of Kailash’s ‘B’ Block.
According to authorities, entertainment and games facilities will be provided to the elderly, helping them connect with each other and share experiences.
“The aim of this club is to remove the loneliness of senior citizens. Here they can share their sorrow and happiness with others and spend their time with joy, playfulness and happiness,” BM Gupta, 90, a retired teacher and resident of East of Kailash told Patriot.
Gupta is very active in club activities.
“Senior citizens get bored at home so they want to go out. There are parks but we need a terrace where we can spend time playing indoor games and entertain,” he says.
“There was no place like this until now. This will surely be beneficial for senior citizens, who look excited about it. We now have a place to meet, sit, talk and spend time happily,” added Gupta, who lives with son and wife.
When asked about the problems senior citizens face in metro cities, Gupta said, “Now there is no joint family system. Also, there are only one or two kids and they often go abroad for studies or work. So, in this situation, senior citizens get separated from their immediate family and become lonely. The first problem they encounter is loneliness.
“Those who live with them also don’t have time to sit with parents and grandparents due to work and study, unlike earlier. So, this is an initiative which was done with the help of local politicians. We have got a place, now we will add facilities to it.”
Gupta has been a retired teacher for over three decades. Currently he is in charge of the club due to the absence of the president, who is in USA right now.
“Despite age-related issues, I am doing my duty. More people will connect with time, how we succeed in our mission, only time will tell,” Gupta added.
Pawan Sharma, treasurer of the ‘Federation of Senior Citizens’ provided further details of the club.
“This is the first recreation centre made by Delhi Nagar Nigam. Around Rs 2 crore has been spent by the municipality on this. This plot worth around Rs 20 crore was allotted 25 years ago to the ‘Federation of Senior Citizens’, but the club was not constructed due to some issues. Now it has finally been established with the help of local municipal councillor and MP.”
Sharma, a software engineer, talked about the facilities.
“In this club, library, newspaper, yoga, health and fitness facilities are also available at a single place. The people of the society, politicians and Nagar Nigam are contributing for this. All senior citizens are financially able. Former Indian cricket board chairman CK Khanna is the patron of this body along with many retired IAS and IPS officers. They don’t want anything but a place where they can gather.
Sharma added, “The Federation of Senior Citizens — East of Kailash’s 10 members including president and I have been pursuing Nagar Nigam to construct this. Now it has been built, the officers of the municipality are visiting this place.”
Sharma said that the club does not differentiate among people.
“All the people of the society can come. People from nearby colonies, as well as domestic helps and maids can also benefit from these facilities. There is no bias. This place will not only be for senior citizens but also for children in future.
“Here we celebrate birthdays of the elderly. We will train them in yoga and health-related issues. Dr Grewal, President of the Delhi Medical Association, conducted a workshop with his team on January 27. They said that mental illness is the most common and prevalent problem in recent times. We manage camps in different places but now also get a common place to organise, where all senior citizens can gather.
The other benefit this club will bring is security of senior citizens.
“We often hear that senior citizens in Greater Kailash and other posh areas are killed. This won’t happen here. An old man who can’t share his/her problem with his children can share with this big, extended family. We call all old people daily and if they feel any problems, we try to solve them. NGOs from Delhi and beyond have also been in touch with us to take this further,” Sharma concluded.