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Immigrant elders find relief with affordable housing in NYC, but feel isolated from community

Nurul Khan and his wife Farida Begum are an older Bengali couple from Queens who lived for 30 years in damp basement apartments in Jamaica, Queens until recently. “It was so damp I got arthritis,” Farida Begum said to visitors recently. “The basement was freezing.” The visitors were in Farida Begum’s brand new apartment on 96th avenue. Tiny…

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Top Ten Highlights of 2017!

1. India Home’s Executive Director, Dr. Vasundhara Kalasapudi, was named one of this year’s Top Influencer in Aging, by Next Avenue/PBS         2.  Nargis Ahmed, India Home’s Desi Senior Center Director, won AARP’s Community Hero Award          3. We moved into brand new offices in Jamaica, Queens.         4. We got some great…

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Exhibiting the Art of Our Elders

The elder patrons of our Sunnyside Center celebrated the end of their Drawing Workshop with an exhibition of their paintings at Jackson Diner in Jackson Heights, Queens. For eight weeks they had  learned what Ebenezer Singh, the teaching artist leading the classes, called, “Pen and Ink Wash, Dry Pastel and Water Color techniques.” Classes taught by a professional artist Run…

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Possibilities: Creative Aging through the Arts

It’s India Independence Day, 2017,  and at the celebration being held at Queens Borough Hall in Queens, NY, the young announcer invites the next act to come up on stage. Ten women from India Home file in and start dancing, their bright white, orange and red saris billowing, their feet making dexterous patterns to the insistently upbeat music. The…

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Sixty-six and still a caregiver: Bharti Parikh faces the future

By all accounts, Bharti Parikh, 66, has led an exciting life. Her life has been an adventure that took her from a childhood in the tiny village of Patton in Gujarat, India, to a law degree, and fulfilling years in America that included working for the City of New York, being invited to be an artist at President…

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Desi Senior Center celebrates Ramadan Month

The elders were dressed in fancy saris and kurtas. Their grandchildren played catch in the back of the room and were shushed by their mothers. The aroma of fried snacks was everywhere. It was the beginning of Ramadan and India Home’s Desi Senior Center hosted a night of poetry, songs, and a meal to celebrate before the elders entered a…

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Archive of Memory: Bangladeshi Seniors Document Their Stories in a Memoir Writing Workshop

By Ashwak Fardoush Ashwak Fardoush is a writer, writing coach and teaching artist, who recently facilitated the Writing Workshop for older adults at India Home’s Desi Senior Center.  The room buzzed with anticipation. The smell of cooked chickpeas and onion lentil fritters served to the guests still lingered in the air. Children’s cries rang out in the background….

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Putul Chanda: The Journey Before Jamaica – Part 2

Garima Bakshi, a student with NYU’s journalism program, wrote an article that chronicled our member, Putul Chanda, a senior from Bangladesh and our center in Jamaica, known as the Desi Senior Center. In the article she tells the history, not just of our senior’s life, but that of Bangladesh’s protracted and traumatic fight for freedom. Putul Chanda is…

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Local Advocacy: On halal home delivered meals, the Mayor’s budget, and coordinating better services for immigrant seniors

Lakshman Kalasapudi, Deputy Director, India Home and Nargis Ahmed, Program Director, Desi Senior Center, were both called on to testify at separate New York City Council hearings. Halal Home Delivered Meals Nargis Ahmed, in her position as Program Director of India Home’s Desi Senior Center, the largest Muslim Senior Center in New York City, testified on April 26, 2017…

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Seniors advocate at City Hall for increased services

South Asian seniors, such as the one’s we serve at India Home, are among the fastest growing groups of older adults in New York City.  For example, according to a report by the Center for an Urban Future, from 2000-2010, the number of Indian seniors in NYC grew by 135%. However, in a counterintuitive move,  city funding for senior services…

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