Listen to Dr.Kankaria, an octagenarian and member of Chai Masti group on his flute.(video)
The music room at the far end of Gopal Sharma school, Powai echoes with laughter, chatter and exclamations as they meet and greet each other.
This is a daily ritual of the active seniors (primarily 50+yrs) who get together at Dignity Foundation’s Chai Masti centre.
Every small occasion is a grand celebration when someone gets a cake or a special preparation from home to be shared with the whole group.
Ms.Rekha Singh, the coordinator of the Powai centre makes sure that they feel comfortable during the two hour session.
” Every day has a different set of activities and the members look forward to come to this vibrant meeting place where they can learn, socialise and make meaningful interactions.”
Most of them are music and dance enthusiasts and they often have fun performances which double up as a stress buster too.The members are also encouraged to participate and perform during Durga Puja, Powai fest and other events in Powai.
“Once a week, we have talks on different topics by the members themselves or guest speakers. We have professional instructors to guide them with structured activities like yoga, tai chi, aerobics, music, art, chess and other board games. We also have members joining us for outdoor trips from all over Mumbai.
Those who haven’t previously had the time to explore creative options, get an opportunity to continue to learn and grow. There’s no other place like us in Powai. Everyone is welcome and included.” adds Ms. Rekha Singh who is an art therapist and gerontologist herself.
There are over 100 members in the Powai centre of which over 60 regularly attend the sessions. Many of them travel to be with their children and would not miss a single day when back in Mumbai.
With everyone getting busy with their own lives, the need for Chai Masti centres becomes even more important to mitigate loneliness among the senior age groups. The Powai centre has new members every now and then as anyone can join at any time of the year.
Chai Masti at Powai: Monday to Friday- 5 pm to 7 pm
Membership charges per annum:
Single membership- Rs.1300/-
Couple membership – Ra.2000/-
Magazine Dignity dialogue (optional subscription) – Rs.900 p.a
Venue: Gopal Sharma Memorial School,
Powai Vihar Complex,
Mumbai – 400 076
Coordinator: Ms.Rekha Singh – 9892372375
Dignity foundation has 16 centres in 5 cities and also a Dementia day care centre in Byculla, the only one of its kind in Mumbai. They provide transport for members availing their day care facility.