India Home is hiring!

India Home is hiring for the following positions. Please click the titles below to go to the job description and application page. Spread the word to your networks!

Director of Programs

Care Coordinator and Program Coordinator

Volunteer Manager through New York City Civic Corps

Volunteer Manager through New York Immigration Coalition

We are excited to grow our team and better serve South Asian seniors in New York City!

Celebrating Guru Nanak Gurpurab

gurupurub

Mr. Batti with a photo of Guru Nanak on the table

India Home members come from all different faiths and religions and we celebrate a lot of religious and cultural holidays. We celebrated Sikhism by holding an event for Guru Nanak Gurpurub on Monday, November 21st. Gurpurub generally falls in Autumn and is considered a most sacred festival by Sikhs because it honors the birthday of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak is the first of the 10 Sikh gurus or spiritual teachers.

Mr. Raghubir Bhatti, our active and jovial member, took the lead to present a short informative program on Gurpurub. He spoke about the major principles of the Sikh faith and emphasized its inclusiveness. Sikhs make no distinctions among people based on caste, class or gender. Its tenets are firmly rooted in the belief that all people are equal and preach that people of different races, religions, or sex are all the same in the eyes of God. The religion believes in the full equality of men and women. Women can participate in any religious event or perform any Sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer. And since no birthday celebration is complete without something sweet, our seniors shared fruit and ladoos, an Indian sweet.

The path to citizenship for seniors – tips from MOIA

Ms. Susana Preyera of MOIA speaks about citizenship at India Home's Desi Senior Center in Jamaica, Queens

Ms. Susana Preyera of MOIA speaks about citizenship at India Home’s Desi Senior Center in Jamaica, Queens

Susanna Pereyra of Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) visited India Home’s Desi Senior Center on Thursday, February 4, to talk about how citizenship rules were different for older immigrants.

Some Exceptions

Those who are 50 years old or above at the time of filing for naturalization and have held a green card for 20 years are exempt from the English language requirement, for instance. However, these applicants are still required to take the Civics test. There are separate rules for those who are older than 55 years. Elders may be eligible to take the test in their native language. In addition, there are also exceptions to the Civics Test and the continuous residence requirement, among others. For more information, see the USCIS Policy Manual Citizenship and Naturalization Guidance.

Ms. Pereyra spoke through an interpreter who translated into Bangla for the benefit of our seniors. The team also distributed flyers with more information.

The Office of the Comptroller also released an updated version of the Immigrant Rights and Services Manual in Bangla, which will be distributed at our center through the month of February. Please click here to download it in English. Please click here to download it in Bangla.

The terrible problem of elder abuse – and how to find help

Shagufta Shah of the Family Justice Court Queens, NYC translated the information into Hindi to our members

Shagufta Shah of the Family Justice Court Queens, NYC translated the information into Hindi to our members

IMG_7859

Josh Rotkin of JASA explained different kinds of elder abuse and where to seek help

IMG_7858

A senior is struck or pushed around. Or locked in a room and denied food or water. He or she is forced to sign their bank accounts or property over to a family member or are unable to prevent large amounts being withdrawn from their account. 

Elders are afraid to report abusers

Actions like the ones detailed above are considered abuse. Often the victims are afraid to report these happenings or won’t report them because the abuser is a family member. Elders may be afraid of the family member retaliating and abusing them farther.

How to get help

On  October 26th, seniors at India Home’s Sunnyside location learned how to seek help for abuse.  The Family Justice Center of Queens brought Josh Rotkin and Shagufta Shah from JASA ( Jewish Association Serving the Aging) to talk about the different types of elder abuse, talk about cases and detailed ways these organizations could help seniors.  It was a very informative and eye opening session and our seniors had a productive discussion afterward.

Ways to find help:Family Justice Center Queens

 

Advocacy: India Home members give testimony at DFTA’s public hearing

IMG_7810

Commissioner Donna Corado of DFTA

DFTA visits the Sunnyside Community Center

Sunnyside Community Center was all a-buzz this morning. Donna Corado, the Commissioner for NYC’s Department for the Aging and her staff had come to visit. Her purpose? She was there to listen to older adults, their caregivers, community partners, advocates and service providers in Queens give testimony on issues that impact New York City’s older adults. She also wanted to deliver some good news: For City Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015- June 30, 2016), the Department’s budget is projected at $325 million, approximately 14% more than Fiscal Year 2015 which is about 21 million dollars more. What’s more, the City will, for the first time, offer mental health services for seniors at 20 centers. Commissioner Corado began by urging all of us to look out for one other. She said DFTA’s mission is to eliminate ageism from New York City.

 IMG_0123Our members testify

Members Chandrakant Sheth and Usha Mehta, and a staff member, testified for India Home. Sheth and Mehta spoke of how much they liked coming to India Home and taking part in it’s culturally appropriate services like festivals, vegetarian meals and trips. However, they also advocated for increased transportation services for seniors and translation services that would enable older adults with limited language ability greater access to services. Our staff member spoke about how India Home is the only secular orgaization serving older adults of South Asian descent in New York City and we provide programming for over 1000 South Asian seniors a year. Our catchment area in Jamaica queens has over 23,000 adults of South Asian origin in it – and the Desi Senior Center alone serves over 120 people a day, three days a week. Many of our members are isolated in their immigrant communities and our services provide a means to learn and integrate into American life. For instance, our trips to Manhattan and Amish County showed our members how different cultures cooexist in our city and country. DFTA spent about 2 hours at Sunnyside Community Service Center and made sure they heard from a diverse, articulate and concerned group of seniors. For our part, all of us at India Home were happy to have our views heard.

Breast Cancer Awareness Group

16926545291_98c6980f97_o

Breast Cancer Awareness Self Help Peer Group at Desi Senior Center

India Home partnered with Sapna NYC, our sister organization, to start a breast cancer awareness group at the Desi Senior Center. We had a group of eight energetic women led by our senior, Saleha Begum. They met every Tuesday for eight weeks. Sapna NYC’s Community Health Worker, Laila Akhter, instructed the group during each meeting. At the end of the eight sessions, our group participated in a mammogram workshop. During the eight weeks and even afterwards, the women from the Self Help Peer Group outreached to two or three isolated women in the community to deliver health education.

Our eight seniors coming together is known as a peer education group. Peer education has been found to be an effective method of public health education because people are more receptive to learning and absorbing information from their peers. In addition, most public health education doesn’t always reach vulnerable or isolated people. This makes peer education a more effective method because it works through community networks.

Breast cancer awareness is important to the South Asian community. Many women do not know how to check for lumps and other symptoms that may lead to more a serious condition. We hope that with the beginning of this peer group, we inspire other women in the South Asian community to reach out and access important public health services.

First time in Manhattan: India Home’s Desi Senior Center visits the Big Apple

Many of the seniors who attend India Home’s Desi Senior Center in Jamaica had never been to Manhattan. This is only natural, given their age and the fact that many of them are new immigrants to our fair city.image_21052310365_o

But all that changed on August 31st. On that day, India Home took them on a day trip to Manhattan and showed them some of it’s most iconic sights.

Sharing stories on the bus to Manhattan

Keeping cultural sensitivities in mind, there were two buses. One for the ladies and another for the gentlemen. Of course, couples got to sit together!

The first stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Art – one of the world’s largest and finest art museums.

image_21052367815_oThe entire museum is about 2 million square feet, so obviously there was no way our members were going to see all of it in a day. image_20429795984_oHowever, they did manage to see several of the highlights. The seniors, nearly all of them Muslims, particularly enjoyed the Islamic World section of the Museum. It has an amazing collection of art, calligraphy and objects from all corners of the Islamic world.

Quran Stand: Dated 1360. Made by Hasan [ibn] Zain ibn Sulaiman al-Isfahani.

Lunch was in Central Park, delivered by Vintage Restaurant. Talk about service!

In Central ParkMany of our members did their afternoon prayers on the grass.

The next leg of the trip took members around New York, with our guides pointing out the city’s landmark buildings and spaces. Our members marveled at the Empire State building, the crowds in Times square, Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, Union Square, and the latest addition to NYC’s skyline—the Freedom Tower. They also stopped by the WTC Memorial.

Then it was on to Battery Park and back to Queens.

image_20936388000_o

Nargis Ahmed, the Community Liaison Director for India Home said: 

“I was very happy that we could do something like this for them. Everyone left in a happy mood.”

India Home goes to Amish country!

It’s Fall! The leaves are turning orange, red and gold and there’s apples and pumpkins spilling out onto the sidewalks. To celebrate the beginning of Fall, India Home took a day trip to Amish Farm and House in Pennysylvania’s Lancaster country. The mood was festive as 52 seniors and staff set off early by bus for a drive through the vibrant countryside.

The miles disappeared as many of our members told jokes and shared poems. After brief stops for tea and samosas we arrived at Amish House and Farm where we met our guide, Mr. Sattar who was as interesting as the stories he had to tell.

 Mr. Sattar was from Afghanistan, and apparently speaks English, French, Arabic and Farsi. He was very informative on the Amish way of life. Our seniors learned about the way the Amish dress (simply!) and live (frugally!).

As one member marvelled, “even if they have a million dollars they don’t show off.”

 

The miles disappeared as many of our members told jokes and shared poems. After brief stops for tea and samosas we arrived at Amish House and Farm where we met our guide, Mr. Sattar who was as interesting as the stories he had to tell. 

Open air Lunch!

Open air Lunch!

After a delicious Indian lunch of pakodas, thepla and barfi, our seniors wandered through the many attractions the farm had to offer.

 

Read more

Still dancing after all these years: India Home celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi at Rubin Museum

Ganesh Chaturti is a special festival in India dedicated to Ganesha- the beloved Elephant headed god. Hindus all over the world worship the deity as the lord of beginnings and the remover of obstacles. The lovely ladies of IndiaHome Inc. presented a vibrant program of dance, music and ritual at the Rubin Museum’s Himalayan Heritage Meet-Up earlier this month. Our seniors, some of whom were in their 80’s, performed the vigorous Ras Garba, a folk-dance from the Indian state of Gujarat. To the delight of the audience at the Rubin, our brightly-dressed dancers swirled to the beats of the traditional dhol in synchronized steps, rhythmically striking their colorful sticks together.

Indiahomerubin

Photo: Chotalal Mehta

Earlier in the evening, our seniors demonstrated a puja and aarti to Lord Ganesh. There was also a talk (held at Rubin’s own 11th century Ganesha statue) that explained the spiritual significance behind the unique iconography that characterizes Lord Ganesh. For instance, did you know that Lord Ganesh’s vehicle of choice, the rat, symbolizes human desire and greed?

Ganesh6

Photo: Ronald Schvartzman for the Rubin Museum

The Rubin Museum featured our program prominently on their blog: 

It was a warm, colorful, and festive event for all, and the Rubin community looks forward to welcoming the lovely ladies of India Home, Inc., back to the Museum!” 

Desi Senior Center has opened!

India Home has partnered with Jamaica Muslim Center and several local officials to open a brand-new Desi Senior Center. Launched on December 1st, the center already sees over 100 seniors each day, a highly diverse group of people. This is now the largest three day single site for South Asian seniors, providing a very necessary service to a large demographic within New York City’s cultural landscape

Funds for this program come from Councilman Rory Lancman of Queens, whose district has one of the largest South Asian population in New York City. He has been incredibly supportive, recognizing the need for culturally sensitive senior care. “Providing accessible, culturally significant activities for all of our residents is of the utmost importance to me,” said Councilman Lancman. “I hope this program only grows from here.”

The Councilman was joined by other officials at the launch on December 1st, including Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens). In addition, leaders from the Jamaica Muslim Center, including its director, Imam Shamsi Ali, president, Dr. Mohammed W. Rahman, and general secretary, Mohammed Akhter Hussain.

India Home is grateful for the support of all these partners in its largest endeavour yet, with a center open three days a week, offering culturally relevant services to these seniors. Programs are conducted mostly in Bengali, with a variety of activities for the seniors on a day-to-day basis. As Mohammed Akhter Hussain of the Jamaica Muslim Center stated, “The Desi Senior Center will focus to improve and maintain the functioning level of our seniors through approaches that will address the needs of the body, mind and spirit. Our objective is to assist seniors in maintaining their independence for years to come.” With two new staffers, a range of projects for the seniors to participate in, and a new halal food service provided by India Home, the Desi Senior Center promises to be the first of its kind, and demonstrates a potential for expansion. Like Councilman Lancman, we hope it only grows from here!

DesiSeniorCenterInaugurationPhoto

Please see the official press release here:

***PRESS RELEASE***

For Immediate Release

December 1, 2014

Contact: Ari Saati

518-588-9279

COUNCILMAN LANCMAN ANNOUNCES OPENING OF CITY’S

LARGEST THREE-DAY, SINGLE-SITE SOUTH ASIAN SENIOR CENTER

Councilman Rory I. Lancman (D-Queens) announced the opening of the “Desi Senior Center” at the Jamaica Muslim Center, New York City’s first senior facility to serve the South Asian community three days a week at a single location. Born out of a $100,000 grant from Councilman Lancman’s discretionary funds, the center will provide culturally relevant programming and daily meals adhering to cultural dietary restrictions.

Councilman Lancman’s district has the largest Bangladeshi population in New York City and is home to over 23,000 residents of South Asian descent, creating an incredible demand for a program of this kind. The Desi Senior Center, operating in collaboration with India Home, is the first expanded program of its kind, offering activities like exercise classes, lectures, arts & crafts and special celebrations.

“I am proud to announce the opening of the Desi Senior Center, a program that will positively impact the lives of so many area seniors,” said Councilman Lancman. “Providing accessible, culturally significant activities for all of our residents is of the utmost importance to me, and I hope this program only grows from here.”

“Senior centers play an important role in helping aging adults stay active and social,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens). “I am happy to support the creation of this new service, and I thank Councilman Lancman for providing funding for it. It will be a valuable resource for older adults in our borough’s South Asian community, and I look forward to advocating for more. Seniors in Queens’ South Asian community are entitled to receive greater access to programs and services, and we will work to help make that happen.”

“I am thrilled that there will be a senior center in this community,” said Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens). “I commend Councilman Lancman for having secured the City Council funding, and of course, the members of the Jamaica Muslim Center for opening their doors to provide a vital service for our senior citizens. This success is a yet another example of how community leaders and local government can work together to create lasting value for our neighborhoods.”

“I am happy to see this program up and operational for Queens’ South Asian seniors,” said Senator-Elect Leroy Comrie (D-Queens). “This facility is a testament to what can be achieved through positive community collaboration, and I thank all of our public and private partners for bringing the Desi Senior Center to fruition. I look forward to more expanded centers like this in our region.”

“As our city’s senior population continues to rapidly grow, it’s vital to make sure that older New Yorkers from all ethnic groups have access to services and programming that meet their cultural needs,” said Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan), chair of the City Council’s Committee on Aging. “By specifically serving Queens’ South Asian community, the new Desi Senior Center represents a step forward in making this a city where seniors of all cultural backgrounds can comfortably and securely age in place. I thank and congratulate Council Member Lancman for his important work in providing funding and working closely with his community to open this new center.”

“Having a senior center for our community was always just dream for us,” said Dr. Mohammad W. Rahman, President of the Jamaica Muslim Center. “We are incredibly proud to have this center operational in the Jamaica Muslim Center, serving our South Asian community. Seniors are the foundation of our community and serving them properly is making us all stronger. I would like to thank our local politicians, India Home and all the members of our center and congratulate the leaders in our community who are behind this.”

“I am delighted to have a senior center for our elders where they can have health education, checkups, exercise programs and other activities,” said Dr. Mohammad M. Rahman, Chairman of the Jamaica Muslim Center. “Our religion and tradition teaches us to take care and respect our seniors; Jamaica is a vibrant community and the Jamaica Muslim Center is a perfect place for them. As a physician and expert in geriatric medicine, I feel it will help our seniors physically and emotionally. I wish every success of this initiative and Jamaica Muslim Center management will offer all support so it can run smoothly.”

“I am truly happy to see this happening in our community,” said Imam Shamsi Ali, Director of the Jamaica Muslim Center. “Taking care of our elders is particularly commanded in the Holy Qur’an. This entire process has enabled the Jamaica Muslim Center to positively collaborate with other communities, particularly the South Asian community, which has been eye opening and productive. This indicates that the Jamaica Muslim Center presents itself as an inclusive community center, serving not only Muslims and but its non-Muslim neighbors. I thank my great friend, Councilman Lancman, for making this center possible in our community. The Jamaica Muslim Center is looking forward to working with the Councilman on many more projects.”

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of Councilman Rory Lancman, we are now able to open a senior center that provides essential services and addresses the specific needs of our community. The Desi Senior Center has been years in the making, and I want to thank all of our community and government partners for finally making it a reality,” said Mazeda A. Uddin, Senior Task force Advisory Chair of the Alliance Of South Asian American Labor.

“The Jamaica Muslim Center is ushering in a new chapter of community service with the generous help of Councilman Rory Lancman,” said Mohammed Akhter Hussain, General Secretary of the Jamaica Muslim Center. “It is a dream come true for the Jamaica Muslim community. The Desi Senior Center will focus to improve and maintain the functioning level of our seniors through approaches that will address the needs of the body, mind and spirit. Our objective is to assist seniors in maintaining their independence for years to come.”

“Starting this Desi Senior Center is India Home’s foray into serving the greater South Asian senior community, and we are thrilled to be able to provide culturally appropriate services like our new halal food service,” said Dr. Vasundhara D. Kalasapudi, Executive Director of India Home. “We are thankful to Council Member Rory Lancman for securing the funding for this trice weekly program in one location.”

«