By Pradip Rodrigues
Last week SHUBH, Helping Hands, an NGO dedicated to seniors in the Peel Region held its first major gala where they launched a book project titled, “Journey to Canada” which contains 34 autobiographies written by South Asian seniors. The project was the brainchild of Veena Verma who has been volunteering and working on projects involving seniors for decades. This project was funded through the federal government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program which goes to projects which involve seniors and those assisting them. The stories were written in whatever languages the seniors were comfortable in and was translated into English.
The gala attracted about 250 seniors as well as dignitaries including MPs Iqra Khalid, Gagan Sikand and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
There was plenty of entertainment designed to delight seniors who could be seen savoring every moment. Kathank dancers from Punwar Academy were among the several who put on some great performances.
At some point the seniors who had their stories featured in the book came on stage and spoke briefly about their experiences.
Neena Verma of SHUBH Helping Hands and her team did a great job and are now setting their sights on an even bigger event next year as well as planning a whole slew of other events throughout the year for seniors.
“Ever since I immigrated to Canada back in 1981, I’ve been a volunteer for several organizations. I opened a Health and Kitchen Club affiliated to the Hindu Heritage Centre to help seniors, the club still runs and in 2016 I launched SHUBH Helping Hands on my along with two others. The idea is to reach out to lonely, sick and other seniors in need of assistance. It is very rewarding,” she said.
Her team of volunteers couldn’t agree more. – CINEWS