Offering the elderly comradeship and entertainment is the aim of Sneha Sandhya in Visakhapatnam. With children moving away from the home-nest and retirement setting in, the once-busy lives of senior citizens suddenly seem to go quiet. As they live by themselves, the phase from 60 to 70 years being manageable, beyond that mobility and entertainment options get limited. With the young people around them caught up in their own lives, the elderly are left with no peer group to call their own. This is where Sneha Sandhya steps in, offering the elderly the hand of comradeship and a creative outlet of entertainment.
Operations of Sneha Sandhya started in 2004 when five members came away from the parent organisation of Vintage Visakha to start on their own. With the founding fathers being PVGK Murty, Kasturi Satyanarayana, Sudarshan Mangalagiri, Raja Ganapati and CV Kumar, the group started focussing in areas of recreation and welfare of senior citizens. Operating from PVGK’s building in Dabagardens for the first nine years, they next shifted to their own office in Peda Waltair, purchased from a senior member at a nominal price.
Working with the purpose of creating entertainment options and mitigating loneliness for the aged, Sneha Sandhya has a packed schedule. Four Sundays of the month are thus dedicated to visiting old age homes, where members spend time with the home’s residents, by singing songs, reciting poetry or other options under the aegis of a programme titled ‘Paata-Maata-Aata’ (song, speaking and games). Needless to say, these are the times that residents of the old age homes look forward to. The group also takes up activities like fund-raising and distributing clothes to the needy. Finally, they also help with legal counsel dealing with protection and welfare of senior citizens.
With approximately 300 members across Visakhapatnam city today, groups also meet in their own neighbourhood. Giving the confidence of a support system, members engage each other with fun and games. “Some members sing very well, others are great dancers, some write poetry, while others are good at drama”, shares MV Ramana, Chairman of Sneha Sandhya. Getting the opportunity to participate, not only reminds them of their youth, but also makes them feel younger.
Dedicating a wing for the ladies is their initiative of Sneha Sudha, whereby women members come together for a monthly kitty party. Additionally, the Sneha Sandhya group conducts two monthly events of a cultural programme and a medical oriented programme.
Growing from one strength to another, members from here have set up the Age Care Foundation (ACF), to focus on the medical welfare of its members. However, the core organisation of Sneha Sandhya now looks forth to playing a pivotal role as a larger body. “25-30 organisations for senior citizens are slowly coming under one wing to render a stronger voice.” Future plans also include conducting entertainment programmes for people in rural areas. Bridging the gap by taking a personal interest with interaction, recreation and medical care, Sneha Sandhya is really a ray of hope for many.
To be a part
Those over 50 years can enrol by paying the membership fee while those younger can volunteer.
For more details contact: +91 9848016797